PCHS Debaters Take on the Tournament of Champions


Emma Ratkovic, Reporter

“Debate is more than just an afterschool activity, it’s an opportunity for kids to examine important issues relating to policy and economics,” English teacher and debate coach, Anna Williams shares. 


Debate is a formal organization where different topics are discussed. Debaters are knowledgeable about a broad range of topics, including but not limited to, economics, government, and law. PCHS debaters are highly competitive and nationally recognized. 


“The Tournament of Champions is the most competitive, rigorous, tournament that exists in this country,” Williams says. 


Debaters gain the opportunity to compete in the Tournament of Champions if they prosper through a national tournament. Debaters would have to be octa-finalists, quarter-finalists, semi-finalists, or finalists; it is dependent on the tournament where the debaters get the bid. In order to compete in the Tournament of Champions, debaters need two gold bids. 


PCHS debaters have one team that already has two gold bids, another team has one gold bid, and a final team is in contention. Williams states, “This is unprecedented for Park City High School.”


Seniors, Will Efrusy and Tom Perret share their excitement about attending the Tournament of Champions, for the second year in a row. 


“It is known as the ultimate goal, in the national debate, to make it to the Tournament of Champions,” Efrusy shares. 


Due to COVID-19, all debate competitions have been held virtually and will continue to be virtual throughout the course of the Tournament of Champions. 


With COVID-19, impacting the lives of our nation, it may be hard to stay hopeful. However, senior Tom Perret speaks on the positives of the tournament being held virtually. 


“It’s different than the tournament is virtual, but it’s more interesting because more people can compete,” Perret claims. 


Debate tournaments are held all over the country. It is essential that debaters attend these tournaments so that they can have a chance at making it into the Tournament of Champions. Although travel is a fun way for debaters to gain new experiences, some debaters are at a disadvantage. Low-income students or students of schools that don’t fund their programs are unable to attend these tournaments. Now that the tournaments are virtual, they are relatively cheap, making it so that more students can attend. 


Perret states, “The Tournament of Champions’ harder level of debate is more fun than easier tournaments because you get the chance to push yourself.”


Williams also announced that seniors, Jack Gladson and Caroline Waldmann, are attending a debate tournament this weekend where they could earn their second bid. 


With the 2020-2021 school year halfway over, PCHS seniors reflect on their experiences in the debate. 


“The goal would be to hopefully get a positive ending to our debate careers, out of this tournament,” Efrusy vocalizes.