‘She sticks with it’

Senior finds confidence through debating


Brianna Henry

Senior Madeline Holloway discusses debate plans with head coach David Luers on Nov. 12. Holloway has been a part of the Debate Team since her junior year.

Senior Madeline Holloway feels that being a part of a team has helped her become more confident and grow both academically and as a person.

“If I can do something like that, which was something that was really terrifying for me in the beginning,it’s like I could do whatever as long as I give it a good effort,”Holloway said.

Holloway has been on the Debate Team since her junior year. She began to attend the speech and debate meetings because her friends were going. Eventually, her friends stopped going, but she continued and persevered, as she aspired to letter in debate and felt that it would be a good challenge for her.

“I thought I should challenge myself,” Holloway said. “I’ve not been very comfortable with public speaking before, so I thought I could improve that.”

Holloway describes the debate meets as having a certain kind of weird energy about them that makes the experience fun. Being able to work with her debate partner, senior Isabel Turner, also keeps Holloway sticking with debate. Holloway has known her since elementary school but has developed a friendship with her through debating. 

Turner says Holloway helps to balance her out as she gets fired up about the topic that they’re debating. As Turner sees it, debate has helped Holloway step out of her comfort zone and become more confident.

“It makes her a more outspoken person,” Turner said. “I feel like she’s better able to say what she thinks.”

According to Debate coach David Luers, Holloway’s strong suits include researching, coming up with solid arguments, putting everything together and being dedicated to the team. Whether she has a really good meet or a really bad meet, she keeps going back to debating, instead of quitting, as Luers feels most would. 

“No matter how it may go for her, she sticks with it,” Luers said.

Holloway says that most of the Debate Team experience is mostly independent because there are different duos and teams going off to do different events and meets, but they still remain a team in terms of support. All members of the team act as one when it comes to supporting their teammates and are cooperative when it comes to finding and sharing research. 

Because of her skill level and because she is the loudest member on the team, Luers feels that her enthusiastic work ethic and ability to research is held up as an example for her teammates.

“We’re all there to try and psych each other up for competitions,” Holloway said.