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BHS debate students sweep top three spots

Special to the Bulletin
Brownwood Debate students after receiving awards. Mo Goff (center), Ava Sparks-Hansen (left), Kali Alvizo (back center), Nickolas Guerrero (right).

The Brownwood High School debate team recently travelled to Mason to compete in the Region 15-4A Congress Debate Competition. At the end of the day, Brownwood students swept the top three spots in the 4A division.

First place went to Mo Goff, a senior, who was ranked number 1 by every judge during the course of the entire competition. Second place went to sophomore Nickolas Guerrero, in his first debate competition. Third place was secured by Kali Alvizo, a sophomore, also in her first debate competition. Ava Sparks-Hansen, a senior, placed fifth in the competition.

In September, the debate students drafted congressional legislation addressing national problems. Brownwood sponsored three bills: banning civil asset forfeiture, creating mandatory “real” life skills classes in secondary schools, and banning dedicated conversion therapy facilities. There were nineteen other pieces of legislation drafted by other schools at the competition. Debate students then have two three-hour sessions wherein the students argue the positives and negatives of each piece of legislation before voting whether to pass the laws.

"Students must show strong speaking skills, the ability to refute claims made by other students, and think on their feet while being directly questioned by the other students," explained debate coach Kenan Boland, a former Brownwood High School debater and current social studies teacher at BHS. "The students that placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd will be competing at the UIL State Congress Debate Competition in January."

The state competition is usually held in Austin, but with COVID, there is a chance the state competition will be done virtually. This is Brownwood’s second year competing in this UIL sponsored event.

Above: Brownwood Debate students after receiving awards. Mo Goff (center), Ava Sparks-Hansen (left), Kali Alvizo (back center), Nickolas Guerrero (right)

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