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Debate wins sweet victory at ICDA state

Seniors+Kelly+Miller%2C+Shannon+Steines%2C+Ethan+Bowers%2C+and+Mary+Cohodes+celebrate+their+state+championship+at+Dairy+Queen.
Seniors Kelly Miller, Shannon Steines, Ethan Bowers, and Mary Cohodes celebrate their state championship at Dairy Queen.

Seniors Kelly Miller, Shannon Steines, Ethan Bowers, and Mary Cohodes celebrate their state championship at Dairy Queen.

•courtesy of the debate team

•courtesy of the debate team

Seniors Kelly Miller, Shannon Steines, Ethan Bowers, and Mary Cohodes celebrate their state championship at Dairy Queen.

Kayleigh Padar

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The debate team won the ICDA (Illinois Congressional Debate Association) State Championship this past weekend. The top four debaters at school, seniors Shannon Steines, Kelly Miller, Ethan Bowers, and Mady Cohodes competed against other schools’ top four competitors.

“I was ecstatic! There was no better feeling than finding out all our hard work as a team finally paid off. We have been dreaming of that moment for four years, and it was such an amazing win,” Miller said.

In addition to the team win, Steines won first place speaker in her chamber and Cohodes won third place speaker in her chamber. Both Cohodes and Bowers were All-State Debaters.

“It was a truly surreal moment when we won. It just felt so amazing to be rewarded for all the hard work and end our senior year of debate as state champions,” Steines said.

In order to prepare for this tournament, the entire debate team spent practices gathering research, giving speeches, and practicing cross examination so that the state competitors would be ready.

“The moment we found out we won ICDA State was the best moment of the season. The energy and support from everyone was great,” Miller said.

After the tournament, the team went to Dairy Queen and ate blizzards out of the trophy. “It was something we joked about since freshman year if we ever won because we always went to Dairy Queen as a team after tournaments. We put plastic wrap in it first for sanitary reasons, but then we just filled up the cup with soft serve and all ate it together,” Steines said.

The ICDA State tournament is the last tournament in this series, which means it is the last ICDA tournament of the senior debaters’ high school careers. “I was quite nostalgic. I am going to be very sad at the end of my debate career because I have learned so much and have met so many intelligent and amazing people,” Miller said.

Although this is the end of ICDA for the year, this isn’t the end of the debate team’s season. Individual debaters will compete in the IHSA State Debate tournament on March 16-17.

“This wasn’t my last tournament, but when it is I will be so sad to see my career end but extremely proud to look back on and see what the Hersey team has accomplished,” Steines said.

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Debate wins sweet victory at ICDA state