Rebecca Kamas defeated a debater from Salado to win the state University Interscholastic League Class AA State Lincoln-Douglas Debate Championship at the UIL State Academic Meet in Austin on May 2-3. Taylor Holden placed third in the tournament, losing to Kamas in the semifinals on a 2-1 decision.
The two state medals culminated a near-perfect run for the debaters at the district, regional, and state levels. In the three tournaments, Kamas and Holden combined for a 25-3 record, with one of the losses coming when Kamas defeated Holden in the state semifinals.
Kamas, a senior, finished the three tournaments with a 13-1 record. She began her climb to the state championship with a perfect district tournament, defeating Mason (twice), Comfort, and Sonora. At the Region I-AA Tournament at Abilene Christian University in April, she defeated Abernathy, Post (twice), Merkel, and Muleshoe. At the state meet, she defeated Redwater and Palmer with her only loss coming from a debater from Salado.
Holden, a junior, finished with a district-to-state record of 12-2. She defeated Comfort, Mason, and Sonora (twice) at the district tournament. At the regional meet, she beat debaters from West Texas Stinnett, Wall, Tulia, Colorado City, and Sonora. In the preliminary rounds at the state tournament, she defeated debaters from Paris Chisum and Jourdanton before losing a close round to Godley.
Elimination brackets are set by looking at the debaters’ win-loss record and the relatively subjective speaker points that debaters receive on their performances from each judge. Since Kamas and Holden were seeded second and third, they had to debate each other in semifinals, a meeting that they had successfully avoided all season.
Lincoln-Douglas debate concentrates on values and their relations to topical issues. This semester’s resolution for the UIL was “Sanctuary cities are morally justified.” Debaters must be prepared to defend both sides during a tournament.
The Blanco High School team of Kirstin Weber and Siomha Moore won the policy debate state championship earlier this year. Debaters from one school winning both state championships in the same year is a rare accomplishment.
The Blanco High School speech and debate coach is Russell Kirkscey.