BY FAITH HARPER
The pair went to debate camp for three weeks during the summer to begin preparing their intricate cases and defenses.
“We are both just really goofy people. We do like dumb things all the time so we kind of clicked right off the bat,” McDonald said.
Makencie Lohman, an All Saints senior and Lincoln Douglass debater, said she has made many friends during the competitions.
“It's been really awesome,” she said. “I've made so many awesome friends — a lot of them are exceedingly strange like me — so it's been pretty cool. (They are) from everywhere. If I didn't join debate … I would know pretty much no one outside my school.”
As friendly as students may be between matches, they are all business when the judge says begin. Local teachers said the East Texas area is a powerhouse for debate and each year someone from the region makes it to state and national competitions.
Students have been working extra hard the past couple weeks to be their best as the season nears an end. District competitions for cross examination debate will be Tuesday in Lindale, and the national qualifying meet will be Valentine's Day.
Regionals will be completed in April, with state competitions in May and nationals in June.
Brownsboro senior Caleb Cade was ranked 12th in the nation last year in the Lincoln Douglass debate. He was coerced to join his sophomore year by the debate coach and his parents and ended up finding he loved to talk and argue, and he was good at it.
“This is a really competitive district, and I think that kind of gave me an edge at nationals because you see kids come to nationals who are from districts that aren't really competitive,” he said. “I think having to compete against the best here in East Texas gave me a little bit of an advantage.”