Debate Team Dominates at Valparaiso

CHS defeats Munster, Carmel, and West Lafayette for overall crown.

Saanya Agarwal, Co-Editor in Chief

This past weekend, Chesterton’s debate team competed in the Larry Stuber Memorial Debate Tournament at Valparaiso High School. After a long, grueling day of arguing, Chesterton teams placed in every single event, both novice and varsity.


In Congressional Debate, teams were debating whether or not to pass multiple bills. The bills this past weekend involved:

  • A Resolution to Require Substance Abusers to Go to Rehabilitation to Lower Recidivism
  • A Resolution to Amend the Constitution to Abolish the Presidential Pardon
  • A Resolution to Develop Marine Technology and Encourage Deep-Sea Exploration
  • A Resolution to Ban the Use of Drone and Missile Strikes that Risk the Lives of Civilians
  • A Bill to End Usury in Postsecondary Study Loans
  • A Bill to Prohibit People Under the Age of 18 from Purchasing or Possessing Energy Drinks


In Novice Congress, junior Imperious Allison placed 4th. In Varsity Congress, senior Katie Pampalone got 5th, junior Payton Walen got 4th, and senior Jackson Jessen took home the 1st place win. Jessen’s win was quite monumental, for he was originally supposed to compete in Public Forum debate until he was forced to make the switch the morning of the tournament. His quick work during the bus ride before his first round clearly paid off.


In Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate, teams were to debate the following November / December topic: The People’s Republic of China ought to prioritize environmental protection over economic growth.

Sophomore Kolvin Dade placed 3rd overall in Novice LD. In Varsity LD, junior Emily Fleischhacker got 5th while senior Gretta Burke secured 1st place. Teammates and opponents didn’t appear to be too surprised by Burke’s win, considering she has already taken home numerous 1st place wins in the season so far.


In Policy Debate, teams were to debate the following year-long resolution: The United States federal government should substantially increase its security cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in one or more of the following areas: artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and cybersecurity.

In Novice Policy, freshmen William Lemmons and Zachary Marchese got 4th. In Varsity Policy, senior Brayden Blouir and sophomore Patrick Hansen placed 5th, seniors Freedom Eiden and Riley Hawksworth placed 4th, and sophomores Alaina McGrogan and Milena Letic placed 3rd. Chesterton Policy had finally seen the long-awaited Carmel teams this season, making it one of the most exciting tournaments yet.


In Public Forum (PF) debate, teams were to debate the following November / December topic: The United States’ strategy of Great Power Competition has more benefits than harms.

In Novice PF, freshmen Kassidy Robinson and Mila Beale placed 2nd while seniors Matticyn Gropper and Sophie Tracy placed 1st, despite having a later start than most novices. After the tournament, Gropper and Tracy were also promoted to the Varsity team and will begin competing in the Varsity division following Thanksgiving break. In Varsity PF, seniors Saanya Agarwal and Zander Fish placed 2nd.


In the overall team sweepstakes, Chesterton secured first place with 88 points in comparison to Munster’s 75 and Carmel’s 70. The team plans to dominate again after Thanksgiving break on Saturday, December 3rd, at Penn High School.