New Debate Team Coach


Pullkit Kishore (10), Aarush Jambunathan (10), Anthony Brefeld (10), and Merrit Webber (11) at Wayzata High School Debate Team practice. Photo by Faizaan Amanat.

Faizaan Amanat, Staff Writer

  The Wayzata High School Debate Team officially announced that Becky Chabot will be its new head coach. Last debate season, the team experienced mild complications, but the new regime hopes to continue their legacy.
  Chabot is coming off of several years of debate-coach experience. “I grew up in Eden Prairie and competed on the Speech and Debate team there. I coached at Creighton Hall for the 2005-2006 season, and Eden Prairie from 2014-2018,” said Chabot. “I’m able to help with a majority of the events, so if students have a question about either speech or debate, I can help them.”
  Before Chabot, Sheila Peterson and Peter Gokey were the head coaches. Once Gokey stepped down, Chabot was the first call. “Pete was my speech coach at Eden Prairie. I served as an assistant coach at Wayzata last season. When Pete stepped down due to health reasons, I was assigned to the job,” said Chabot.
  The debate team is known for traveling across the country, but Chabot has some new ideas for the team. “While travel tournaments are important, it’s also necessary to establish ourselves as a team here. Cutting back to a reasonable amount of travel makes everyone happy,” said Chabot. “We cut two tournaments and added one. Too much traveling is a mental burden, and not to mention the overall cost/expenses.”
  According to Chabot, the main emphasis coming into the season is building unity and cooperation among the team. “This year we’ve implemented team retreats which can help members relax and have fun,” said Chabot.
  Debate at Wayzata has always been about Policy. “Policy debate is a two on two form of debate which has a resolution/topic every year. This year, it’s that the U.S. Federal Government should substantially reduce its stance on immigration,” said Chabot. “The affirmative has an answer, the students fill in the reason. After each speech, there’s cross-examination. Which is just questions and answers.”
  Although Policy is Wayzata’s main event, according to Chabot, the team is expected to expand its event participation. “We’re introducing Student Congress this year. Students are put into chambers like a real life congress and argue about bills. Students give speeches in favor or against the bills,” said Chabot.
  “The coach for Student Congress is Mr. Bistodeau, who’s the co-head coach this year. Depending on team growth, the next two years could introduce Lincoln Douglas, a one-on-one philosophical debate,” said Chabot.
  “Despite the rigor and competition debate puts forth, members need to know that they’re human beings first, students second, and debaters third. Debate should never come in front of your academics or your mental health.”