The Jackson Hole High School Speech and Debate Team started their season off with a novice-only virtual tournament cohosted by Jackson and Cheyenne East over this past weekend. A total of 11 schools attended the tournament. Junior Sarah Schweitzer and sophomore Ventura Garcia emerged as the champions in Public Forum Debate. They spent the weekend looking at both sides of whether or not the United States should adopt a declaratory nuclear policy of no first use. Sophomore Sophie Lamb was victorious in Congressional Debate with her 1st place finish. In this simulation of the U.S. legislative process, students generate a series of bills and resolutions for debate. Lamb’s legislation calls for permanently closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Freshman Jackson Neishabouri finished in fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking, where a student is given a topic and must write and deliver a 7-minute speech within 30 minutes. Lamb and Neishabouri partnered in Lincoln Douglas Debate where they scored a 3-way tie for 4th place, narrowly missing the semifinal round based on a tie-breaker. They spent the tournament debating both sides of whether or not the United States ought to provide a federal jobs guarantee. “As an organization we are learning to adjust and thrive in a new format of Speech and Debate that promotes safety as a top priority,” stated Londe Gagnon, who coaches the team with Peggy Gagnon. “We are extremely excited to see the promise of our novices and look forward to seeing what the upcoming meets will bring. The team has shown incredible resilience in this difficult time and we are thrilled with their enthusiasm so far.” The team competes again next weekend in a virtual tournament hosted by Evanston High School where the novices will join the varsity for the competition.