Debate News, January 2005 : LUSENET : Grady Cyberspace Project - Real News : One Thread

The debate team has warmed up despite the cold weather. In November, novice policy debaters Curry Andrews and Sarah Beth McKay won their final round of the Chattahoochee Cougar Classic to earn the title of Tournament Champions. Curry won second place speaker in the novice division. Novice teammates Juliana Ajayi and Charlmain Bohannon advanced to quarterfinals.

Varsity debaters kept the ball rolling on the other side of the Georgia state line. Jermeen Sherman placed as fifth place varsity policy speaker at the Homewood Patriot Classic of Homewood, Alabama. Jermeen and partner Thi Lam advanced to quarterfinals, as did teammates Katherine and Kimberly Hagan.

A week later Grady debaters lived up to their previous succes at the Carrolton Peach State Classic at the Southern University of West Georgia. Ramika Gourdine and Marty Styles were octofinalists in the junior varsity division. Travis Jones and Carson Phillips-Spotts advanced to junior varsity quarterfinals, and Ramika won a speaker award. Jermeen Sherman and Thi Lam met a long sought goal of varsity policy debaters. By advancing to the final round in their division, Jermeen and Thi earned themselves a bid to compete in the Tournament of Champions. Only debaters who earn two of the prestigious bids at national tournaments are able to attend the Tournament of Champions in late spring.

Thi and Jermeen hoped to win a second bid at a national tournament in Kentucky, but were disappointed with a record of three wins and three losses. Both attended a local tournament at Milton High School and advanced to semifinals before losing ballots to Westminster. Thi and Jermeen's New Year's Resolution? To capture another Tournament of Champions bid on home turf at the Barkley Forum tournament at Emory University later this month.

-- Katherine Hagan (, January 18, 2005


WOW, Way to go debaters! Congrats to all and your coach.

-- Terry Ozell (, February 15, 2005.

On the second weekend of December, junior Jeffrey Thomas and sophomore Ramika Gourdine advanced to the semifinal round at the Southern University of West Georgia Tournament. Their success qualified them for the Richard B. Russell All State Tournament in April. Jeffrey competed with fellow junior Jermeen Sherman at Rome High School in early January. The two won second place team. Jeffrey won fifth place speaker and Jermeen placed first. In Lincoln Douglas debate sophomore John Helsel claimed second only to Grady senior Tye Tavaras, who earned a 5:0 record, title of tournament champion and first place speaker. At the same tournament, Wesley Myrick won first place speaker in the second Congress. All qualified for Catholic Forensic League Nationals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this summer.

January's ice storm dampened Jermeen and Thi Lam's hopes for a Tournament of Champions bid at the Barkley Forum Tournament at Emory University. Grady debaters competed on Friday, but the remainder of the tournament was postponed until Sunday and shortened. The show went on but without the anticipated ending. Jermeen and Thi won three of their four rounds, but the abbreviated version of the tournament did not offer the bid the team had hoped for. Jermeen and Thi look for a sunnier weekend in Vestavia Hills, Alabama later this month, where they will have another chance at the long sought bid.

Meanwhile, Jermeen and Thi joined fellow debaters Ramika and Jeffrey at State this weekend. It was the first time in 12 years that Grady debaters competed at the tournament. In the past, Knights would have had to get past Region rival Pace Academy. An altered qualification system in lucky year 13 gave Grady debaters a chance to show their stuff.

Policy debaters Jeffrey, Ramika, Thi and Jermeen held their own at state. Thi and Jermeen affirmed the year’s resolution while teammates Jeffrey and Ramika negated. Jermeen earned second place affirmative speaker and Jeffrey was named fifth place affirmative speaker. Grady was fourth place in the single-A, double-AA, and triple-AAA division, and was second only to Pace in the AA division.

The following weekend debaters competed in their own teachers’ classrooms for the National Forensic League Districts Tournament hosted by Grady. Those who advanced to be the last two standing earned a bid to the National Forensic League Nationals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this summer. Juniors Jermeen and Jeffrey were undefeated in policy debate and were the top qualifiers in the tournament. Seniors Kimberly and Katherine Hagan were the second qualifiers. Tye Tavaras was undefeated in the Lincoln-Douglas division and qualified for nationals. Awards were presented in Grady debate coach Ms. Lisa Willoughby’s classroom. Debaters appreciate the new building that allows them to compete at home.

-- Katherine Hagan (, February 15, 2005.

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