Debate squad places second in State tournament, turns focus toward preparation for next year

Kelly Cordingley, Editor in Chief

Blue Valley’s debate team took second place to Shawnee Mission East High School in the State Debate Tournament on Jan. 12.
BV was defeated by one ballot.
Senior Archana Vasa, secretary and treasurer of the National Forensics League, was part of the team that took second at the tournament. She said despite the second place finish, she is proud of how her senior year State run turned out.
“It felt good because we hadn’t even qualified for that tournament last year,” she said. “It was also disappointing because we really wanted to win, and we were in first place the whole tournament until the very last round.”
Vasa said the team’s work ethic and preparation throughout the season paid off.
“I think we debated our hardest,” she said. “I’m proud of what we’ve done this whole season. I think all our hard work was really reflected by our placing at State.”
Debate coach Chris Riffer said despite the loss, the squad held their heads high.
“Sometimes what you get out of something isn’t what you put in,” Riffer said. “They were able to put the loss in perspective better than most.”
Riffer said the seniors on the squad set the bar high for next year.
“This group of seniors was always the last in the room working,” he said. “None of them thought they were so good they couldn’t improve.”
Next year, Vasa said the debate squad is apt to excel.
“I think the team is in a good position to do some great things next year,” Vasa said. “We’ve already had some really talented juniors step up to the plate, and I think they’re going to do a great job as seniors next year.”
After spending four years with the debate seniors, Riffer said he has high hopes for their futures.
“It’s going to be hard to see them go,” he said. “Every one of them has bright future.”