Sophomores make their way to TFA


Meital Abraham

Sophomores Morgan Grosch and Macalah Thomas have both recently qualified for TFA State, and are very excited about the upcoming competition and to possibly bring home debate trophies like the ones they are holding. “I’m more excited for the competition than I am nervous,” Grosch said. “It’s a big deal for sophomores to qualify.”

Meital Abraham, Reporter

Qualifying for the Texas Forensic Association (TFA) State Competition, varsity sophomore debaters Morgan Grosch and Macalah Thomas will compete in El Paso on March 5-7. In order to qualify, debaters needed to receive 12 total State Points, which you get by competing in many tournaments and going through preliminary rounds.

Thomas qualified back in August, while Grosch qualified in January. Grosch and Thomas have both been debating for two years.

Qualifying for TFA State was anticipated for Thomas as she had been working towards the goal for much of the last two years.

“Finding out I qualified was actually a little anti-climactic because I found out very early into the school year,” Thomas said. “I competed every weekend even without the school’s team sometimes so I knew exactly when and how I would qualify.”

Thomas and Grosch have both been preparing by checking out other peoples’ cases and doing research for the resolution, or topic being debated. Debaters must write cases for and against the resolution: “Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.”

Grosch qualified later on in January, and was excited to be headed to the state competition.

“Macalah and I are both sophomores and we don’t have the pressure on us to win, so I’m more excited for the competition than I am nervous,” Grosch said. “Not many people qualify for state, especially sophomores. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the weekends and during the week reading topic literature and cutting cards, which is finding evidence online and shortening it to the point where you can use it in cases.”

Grosch and Thomas have both spent the majority of their free time working on debate by reading and writing. They also go to the novices’ class sometimes to help them with their cases and guide them. Thomas and Grosch are both considered mentors to the novices.

After knowing Grosch and Thomas for two years, coach and teacher Dawn Azbill is very proud of the students’ accomplishments.

“[Grosch and Thomas] work harder than any student I’ve ever worked with,” Azbill said. “I knew when they were freshmen that they would be successful debaters because I could see that they had a drive. They took the initiative to go above and beyond the rest of the novice class.”

Azbill has high hopes for the state competition, and is looking forward to it.

“I love the idea that they qualified for State,” Azbill said. “They’ll just get better and better from the experience. I want them to have a good experience, but we definitely want to win.”