Photo: Free State debate duo win school’s first Round Robin tournament

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The Free State High School debate team of John Marshall and Serena Rupp, both seniors, have added another first to the school’s résumé with their latest tournament win.

Over the weekend, Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, hosted the Big Red Round Robin Debate Tournament, according to information from their coach, Kelly Thompson. Marshall and Rupp — currently the No. 4 ranked team in the country — were invited to compete.


“The tournament, intended to be one last regular season competition prior to the start of National Championship tournaments next month, invited 14 of the top teams from across the country to Nashville for a weekend of debates.

“… In the preliminary rounds, Rupp and Marshall (LFS RM) debated in six rounds for a total of 12 judges. 11 of those voted for the Firebirds, and LFS RM qualified for the tournament’s championship round as the top overall seed in the tournament. This included wins over the #1, #11, #13, #15, #20, and #21 ranked teams in the country.”

Rupp was also named the fourth individual speaker in the tournament, and Marshall was named sixth, Thompson wrote.

“In the final round, LFS RM defeated Berkeley Prep SS (#10 ranked team) on a 2-1 decision to claim the tournament’s championship! This is the first Round Robin championship in school history!”

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Free State takes home hardware at state debate tournament; Lawrence High seniors cap off historic season

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In a weekend featuring more than a dozen high school debaters from Lawrence, Free State took home second place in the 4-speaker division and sent a team to the semifinals in the 2-speaker division of the state tournament. Meanwhile, two Lawrence High seniors have earned the school’s first bid to the national Tournament of Champions.


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