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Rebuilding Abingdon High's debate team

By Jim Conrad, jconrad@wcyb.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 04:08:06 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2013 04:31:57 PM CDT
abingdon debate team
ABINGDON, Va. -

You'll hear sports teams talk about having a rebuilding year, having to start with younger players after having championship success.

That also holds true for high school academic competitions. But as we found out, Abingdon High School is rebuilding one of their teams after a 15-year absence.

The academic trophy case is the first thing you see when you walk into Abingdon High School. But you'd have look pretty close to see a trophy for the school's debate team; they haven't had one in quite some time. "We haven't had a debate team in about 15 years so it's been a long time, but I believe it's a great experience. I'm really excited," debate team coach Crystal Hurd said.

Bringing the team back came from some silliness going on in creative writing class, but it's all serious now. "Being the first one in 15 years is really exciting, if not scary as well. There's nobody around anymore that even remotely remembers what it was like," sophomore Hanna Freeman says.

There are those who remember Abingdon's dominance in debate. "My grandfather actually was the coach back in ancient days of the debate team and he left it several years before it ended. He was coach for the Abingdon High School debate team and he's helped me some with it," senior Josef Duner said.

Each student will tell you that it's their opinion on topics that matter. "With media and all you get a straight line of opinions. I feel that children don't get enough leeway, they feel surppressed and they don't get their opinions out like they should," says sophomore Noah Simmons.

"As a minor you can't vote, you don't really get to express your opinion on that much. Now you get a chance to not only express your opinion but debate your opinion with other students that have different views," adds sophomore Taylor Hankins.

As with any young team, it's a rebuilding year but it won't be long until another debate team trophy will grace the case at Abingdon High.