Grosch debates to number one


Junior Morgan Grosch and her friend and fellow debater Kyle Fennessy taking a picture together before a round.

Anjali Sundaram, Reporter

Clad in a black pant-suit, the girl made her way into the classroom. With her head held high and her backpack in tow, she stirred towards the desk. Pulling out her laptop, she started her planning and her plotting. Her leg nervously bounced in which one might mistake as a gesture of nervousness, but is rather one of anticipation. Finally, she takes her place at the front of the room, scanning her eyes over the judge and her opponent. Slowly but steadily, she clicks the “start” button on her phone, and she’s off, sprouting off word after word.

Junior Morgan Grosch is one of the most qualified debaters at CPHS according to many of the awards that she has in her favor, having started debate during sophomore year.

“I joined debate because I thought it would be an engaging extracurricular and honestly it just looked fun,” Grosch said.

She has come a long way from then, winning first in UIL districts and recently has gotten bid [money from a sponsor] from St. Marks.

“My favorite accomplishment was winning a bid at the St. Marks tournament because I dedicated a lot of time in the weeks leading up to it and did a lot better than I expected,” Grosch said.

LD, Grosch’s respected field, is shortened for Lincoln Douglas debate, is one of the many different types of debate out there in the state. LD is an individual debate type and focuses on philosophical debates.

“We [LD debaters] research and debate the benefits and harms that come out of implement certain relevant policy options within a topic chosen by a committee every two months,” Grosch said.

Grosch goes on to explain the benefits of LD debate.

“I think that LD is a really amazing event because it is a singular event that integrates the same kind of debate found in Policy [which is a partner event in which two people debate about proposed policies],” Grosch said.

In her field of LD, Grosch has won many competitions such as: qualifying to state as a sophomore, qualifying to a regional UIL tournament as a sophomore, as well as winning a couple of local tournaments. However, winning isn’t the best part about debate, according to Grosch.

“The best part of debate is the people you meet and the friends you gain,” Grosch said. “The community is filled with such vibrant, nice, and intelligent people.”

Her friends also play a vital role in her budding debate career, according to Grosch.

“My biggest influence in debate has to be all of my friends who support me throughout the debate season, as well as my coach Courtney who dedicates a lot of time working with me,” Grosch said.

However, despite the support she gets from her friends, Grosch feels like there is more to be done with leveling the playing field between boys and girls in debate.

“I think it is really, really, really important for women to join debate and I would recommend debate to anyone interested because LD and Policy debate lack female voice and that is seen through numerous micro-aggressions in the community,” Grosch said. “I have sadly, often seen far too many times women be labeled as lesser than their male counterparts in the debate community solely based on their gender. I think that it is very important for women to participate in debate so the activity can stop being a boy’s club and be more accepting of strong women who want to learn advocacy skills and take over the world.”

While being a women in debate continues to be hard for many girls out there, Grosch continues to knock those barriers done as she is one of the only girls invited to the Strake Round Robin, also known as RR, tournament short tournament in which you are placed in “pods” [different groups] and debate your competitors multiple times with a two panel judge, according to Grosch.

“It’s pretty hard to get invited, so that’s cool (that I got invited),” Grosch said. “I’m doing a lot of research to prepare for the RR as well as drills and practice rounds.”

Like every good sports team must practice before they become the best, the time a debater puts into their work justifies how well their tournament goes, as Grosch explains what she does before each rounds.

“I don’t really have a ritual before rounds, but before the round starts we look at “the wiki” which is where the other debaters disclose the cites (where one gets their information from) to their evidence they read, so we do prep (research) on what is “on the wiki”,” Grosch said.  “Also I really like the ice breakers gum, specifically the raspberry kind, so I chew that a lot at tournaments.”

Despite “wiki”-ing before each round, Grosch explains how she feels before every debate.

“I get very stressed right before a tournament and I typically feel much unprepared, but I think that is very common for most debaters since debate is really contingent on the work load put in before the tournament,” Grosch said.

Grosch extends some advice to new debaters out there hoping to one day make it.

“Honestly just have fun and work hard,” Grosch said. “Debate is less about the accomplishments you achieve and more about the advocacy skills you gain and the friends you make. It’s imperative to enjoy the activity because if you are not compassionate about debate it is very hard to put forth the work necessary to win. Also, focus more on improvement than winning or losing. My sophomore year I placed too much emphasis on my tournament records and not enough focus on actually improving my skills. It seems weird to have the “practice makes perfect” mentality in an activity like debate, but it is seriously so true.”