Three of JDS’ teams compete in debate playoffs


Photo by Ellie Fischman, LT

Sophomore Alec Silberg prepares to compete in the debate playoffs.

Ellie Fischman, Opinion Editor

Self-assured and as prepared as he can be, sophomore Alec Silberg sits alone in a classroom. He logs onto the online meeting for debate playoffs and waits for the competition to begin. He has done this before, so he feels confident and ready for whatever the outcome may be.

Three groups in the CESJDS high school debate team progressed to the playoffs that took place on March 9. They competed in groups of two. Each group had to win six of their previous debates this season in order to qualify for the playoffs.

While three groups proceeded to the playoffs, all of them lost in the first round to Poolesville and Montgomery Blair High School. Debaters argued pro or con on the statement “Resolved: In the United States, the benefits of increasing organic agriculture outweigh the harms.”

Silberg said that JDS was at a disadvantage from the start, given that only six of them made it to the playoffs. Additionally, members of the team were busy leading up to the debate, which interfered with their preparation.

“We couldn’t prepare as much because we are only three teams and we normally have a lot more people doing research…” Silberg said. “The JDS team is smaller than most schools’, and we also have a disadvantage of the seniors leaving.”

Two rounds of the debate tournament took place on March 9, and the last rounds took place on March 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Although playoffs generally have a connotation of being more intense and stressful, the JDS team felt calm leading up to their matches.

“I was pretty relaxed [going into the debate] because we’d already made it to playoffs, and whether we won or lost wasn’t the hugest deal,” sophomore Noah Sher said.

The debaters spent less time on the preparation than they usually did and had fewer teammates to contribute, but at the same time, it was already a big accomplishment to make it to the playoffs.

“I was excited for our students. I know that people were not feeling super confident going into [it],” Ball said. “But it’s a good experience for them regardless. No one seemed too disappointed, which was also good…. Win or lose, I’m still proud of our students for how they did.”