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Tribe Times

Tribe Times

The Student News Site of Larned High School

Tribe Times

Tribe Times

Trista and Erin’s journey to state debate

Read the story behind Mr. Scheideman’s acrylic nails!
Janet Fleske

Trista Mommens and Erin Tims have qualified for the State Debate Tournament as partners in the 2023-24 debate season. They have been representing Larned High School (LHS) since their first tournament together this past fall. Through competing in five debate tournaments throughout the season, Trista and Erin achieved fourteen wins and only six losses this season, including their two wins and four losses at the Kansas State Debate Tournament. To go to state, the debate teams must either have a fifty-fifty win loss record and compete in four varsity level tournaments, or the entire team can qualify through placing in the top four at their regional tournament. Through Erin and Trista’s win/loss record they qualified for the state debate tournament. However, despite their hard work and preparation this season, they did not end up placing at state. 

This was Trista Mommens’s third year in debate for Larned High School, so she is a seasoned professional when it comes to debate. However, her partner, Erin Tims, was a little less experienced; this was Erin’s first year debating. Erin mentioned in an interview, “I was challenged when we ran into really experienced teams because I was a novice, but Trista was experienced, so I felt like a fish out of water sometimes, which was difficult.” Through all of the challenges they faced the team did an amazing job. 

Facing off against other debate teams across the state comes with many challenges, but their coach, Mr. Chris Scheideman handled it well by coaching to their strengths and helping them improve their weaknesses. In an interview, he mentioned “One of the biggest challenges was the fact that Erin was a novice debater who was thrown in, trial by fire, with an experienced debater, but she came out with a 66% win rate.” Trista was in need of a new partner this debate season, so she brought Erin onto the team, and their team will be coming back next year as seniors!

Due to a bet, Mr. Scheideman had his nails done up with acrylics last week! Mr. Scheideman made a deal with Trista and Erin. If they qualified for state debate, they were allowed to put fake nails on Mr. Scheideman, and he was required to keep them on for 24 hours. Mr. Scheideman attributes the team’s success to this deal, saying, “It was a way to motivate them beyond being able to say they made it to state.” Clearly, the deal worked well for the team! 

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Trista and Erin are both juniors at LHS this year, so they still have all of next year to hone their skills and do even better at the state tournament next year. Mr. Scheideman told us, “Now that Erin and Trista have had a season under their belt, and Trista has a consistent partner, I believe they will have an even better season next year.” While an extra year of experience will surely help the team, Mr. Scheideman has also made another deal to further incentivise Trista and Erin to make it to state once again. Next year, if Erin and Trista place fourth or better at state, they get to dye Mr. Scheidman’s hair!

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About the Contributor
Arianna Hemken
Arianna Hemken is a senior at Larned High School. Her favorite articles to write are opinion pieces, and she loves adding statistical numbers to her pieces to make them more informative. She is a member of LHS Stuc.Co, NHS, FCA, FCCLA, and jazz band. Arianna is also on the Larned Girls' Varsity Tennis team and Varsity Girls' Basketball team.
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