2015 State Debate & IE Tournament
The 2015 Debate and Individual Events Tournament took place in Harrisburg over the weekend. Aberdeen Central took home the class AA state title, their fourth in a row, while Lennox won the class A state championship.
Kerry Konda is the Head Speech and Debate Coach at Aberdeen Central. Konda has been at Aberdeen Central for the past seven years, and he’s been the head coach for the past six.
Konda said his team started prepping for this years state event in the early portion of last fall.
“October 1 we had the goal of coming back and aiming for a 4th straight state championship,” said Konda. “We we’re strategizing and prepping, because we knew everything was brand new.”
Konda said Debate is all about gaining an edge on your opponent, and finding new ways to do that.
“It’s really challenging and it’s a lot like sports,” explained Konda. “What you’re doing is looking at the arguments the kids run, and then you go out and figure out how to counter it.”
In a way, Debate can be compared to chess, because it’s all about strategizing a few moves ahead of your opponent.
Konda said debate in South Dakota is extremely fun, because everyone knows each other, meaning everyone’s familiar with their competition.
“A lot of these kids know each other and they’re friends outside of it,” said Konda. “It makes it easier and harder at the same time because we know them, but they also know what some of our strategies are too.”
Zach Lattea is a Senior at Yankton High School.
“I really like the intellectually of it,” said Lattea. “I enjoy having an intellectual discussion with somebody and not having it be dumbed down, to what you’d see in other environments.”
Lattea explained that he was meant to participate in debate, it was an activity he was born to do.
“It’s something that came naturally to me,” said Lattea. “My freshman year, my partner and I did quite well, and I’ve been interested in it ever since.”
The 2015 State Debate event took place at Harrisburg High School on March 6-7. For more information visit sdpb.org/debate/