The Bettendorf Speech and Debate team competed at districts at Bettendorf High School on Feb. 19.
Seven students qualified for nationals--Lilli Ambort, Andrew Del Vecchio, Jason Jiang, Logan Quick, Yash Singh, Austin Wang, and Daniel Wilkinson.
Speech and Debate is a year round activity, and these students practice every day and even meet up on the weekends to thoroughly discuss their topic area. In order to have such great success, they have tirelessly been preparing for districts.
“The event I qualified for is Extemporaneous Speaking, which involves talking about current events and answering difficult questions about politics. The way I've been preparing is keeping up to date with news and finding new articles and saving them,” junior Logan Quick said.
The team won the District Debate Sweepstakes Award and the District Overall Sweepstakes Award. Bettendorf has won these awards the past few years.
“Winning all of these awards showed the district that Bettendorf is the powerhouse and dominant team. It’s great because it elevated everyone's respect,” junior Yash Singh said.
Quick added on about the team’s impressive win and their key to victory.
“The results from this district should be seen as a great success of Mr. Rankin and his coaching skills. You don’t see this kind of consistent success unless you have a great coach leading the team,” Quick said.
Lilli Ambort was also named District Senior of the Year.
“The fact that coaches from across the district regard me so highly humbles me so much and makes me feel like all the work I’ve put in to speech and debate over the past four years has really paid off and made, at least in the speech and debate world, a small impact,” Ambort said.
Going from districts to nationals is a big jump, and they will be competing against the best in the nation.
“I expect tougher competition, and I’m hoping to get a lot farther. It will also be fun to be down in Florida with all my friends,” senior Austin Wang said.
The Speech and Debate nationals are taking place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on June 17-22.
“Speech and debate is the most useful tool within the school. It’s underrepresented and the most helpful tool, not only in school, but in life,” Wang said.