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Schaumburg Debate Team faces the Tournament of Champions

Raphael Portillo

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Aptly titled, “Tournament of Champions,” any Schaumburg student will be shocked with the qualifications necessary to be a part of the coveted competition. The Schaumburg debate team participated in the tournament at Wheeling High School with multiple members partaking in the Champion unit, as well as the invitational unit.

With weeks worth of research comprised from every Schaumburg Debate Team member, each school’s hard work was represented by the 60-page research packets created by the competitors. Most of the members practiced  daily with their note-cards, notepads, and colorful pens in order to create the worthiest arsenal of speeches.

The Schaumburg Debate Team took the tournament by storm as they placed fourth in the invitational front of the tournament led by first place speaker (against 200 0ther competitors in the invitational front), Baigalmaa Gansukh. Representing the heart and soul of the process, Baigalmaa had an average of 5.7 out of 6 in the entire tournament which earned her the top score of the competition. Competing as a three-year debater, Baigalmaa proves that through perseverance anyone can prevail in times of great difficulty.

Matching Baigalmaa stride for stride, several members of the team, including Giselles Soares, Laxmisanjana Ade, and Viraj Desetty, impressed with their oratory regarding legislation that spannedeconomics, foreign affairs, and public welfare.

But the Schaumburg success was not limited to the invitational unit of the tournament. After all,  the tournament is called “Tournament of Champions” and so the competition gathers the most talented debaters in the state of Illinois in a set of four chambers to argue about classic problems pertaining to governments.

Qualifying required each participant to have a set amount of nominations from respectable judges during the preceding season of congressional debate.  And SHS Debate has consistently fielded competitors to this annual event.

Schaumburg never shied away from such challenges, and the team maximized its efforts.  The team has been led by its best debaters including President and four-year debater, Jake Kaminski; Stefanie Portillo; Captain Binti Kohli; Bhavya Shah; and Christian Monzon.

Surviving the rigorous selection process, the five members of the Schaumburg Debate Team were able to prevail against the tens of competitors within their chambers with Mr. Kaminski eventually breaking into the final round of the tournament.

The 3-minute speeches require a great deal of procedural preparation and content, which debaters must deliver in highly competitive atmospheres. Captain Binti Kohli emphasized that the competitors can only succeed because of the team effort. “We really came together to prepare and did our best to execute,” Kohli said. The debaters believe that every single moment provides a chance to learn more about the world, and this propelled the team to success.

As the school year ends, so does the allotted time for the Schaumburg Debate Team to defend their annual state championship. The Schaumburg Debate team is now preparing for the annual excursion into the Harvard Tournament with teams all the way from California, Florida, and the United Kingdom competing. We wish them the best of luck!

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Schaumburg Debate Team faces the Tournament of Champions