The Central Virginian

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Louisa’s great debaters state their cases at competition

Posted on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 5:00 am

Preston Budd and Tamara Talley (front) with coach Donna Love, hold the second-place trophy from regional competition that advanced them to state participation.

While most of the attention paid to athletics at Louisa County High School is focused on baseball, softball, soccer and other more traditional sports, the Lions’ speech and debate team quietly worked through its season, culminating in a trip to the Virginia High School League state tournament on April 21 and 22.

After finishing second in the regional tournament, sophomore Preston Budd and freshman Taylor Talley both earned a trip to the state competition to represent Louisa. Each had a different reaction prior to the competition.

“It’s kind of nerve-racking,” Talley said before heading off to Cosby High School in Midlothian. “I feel like a fish out of water because it’s my first time going up there.”

Budd, on the other hand, wasn’t nervous at all.

“I’m just proud to show off the county,” he said.

While most may think of debate as a straightforward competition, there are actually four different types: policy, public forum, Lincoln-Douglas and student congress. Budd participates in Lincoln-Douglas, while Talley prefers the student congress competition.

The Lincoln-Douglas debate style is a one-on-one competition in which the competitors consider issues of value rather than issues of policy. One of the topics Budd prepared for the state competition involved whether the United States should provide affordable housing for all its citizens.

Once given a topic, Lincoln-Douglas debaters do research and prepare speeches for both the affirmative and negative sides of the argument.

To read the entire story, see the April 27 edition of The Central Virginian.