All Hands On Deck for the MinneApple

This weekend, Apple Valley High School hosted one of the most prestigious debate tournaments in the country. The MinneApple brought together 64 schools from 22 states for a weekend of tough competition and Minnesota hospitality.

Hundreds of competitors were spread out between Scott Highlands Middle School, Valley Middle School, Falcon Ridge Middle School, and Apple Valley High School. The different styles of debate hosted at the schools were Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Public Forum, and Congressional Debate.

It’s obvious that the MinneApple is no small matter, and with it comes a lot of preparation. Debaters from across the nation dedicated several hours solely to preparing for this tournament. Kathleen Scoggin, JV Lincoln-Douglas debater and sophomore at Edina High School, attests to this by saying: “[We did] a lot of prep. My team has spent at least 10 hours prepping for this tournament throughout this week so it was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.”

Many come to the MinneApple to win one of the highly coveted marble apples, but for some, it’s to see friends and learn from each round. Sally Ho, JV Lincoln-Douglas debater and sophomore at Scarsdale High School in New York, said, “I wanted to meet up with a lot of my debate friends that I usually don’t see, as well as just get better at debate.”

Not only does the MinneApple offer good competition, it also provides a warm welcome to everyone who steps foot in the tournament. Sydney Gold is a JV Lincoln-Douglas debater and sophomore at Isidore Newman High School and hopped on a three and a half hour flight from New Orleans to compete here in Minnesota. When asked about her favorite part about Minnesota, she said, “[…] it’s still 85 degrees in Louisiana so the first thing was getting to have a little chill off after the constant summer [and] the people in Minnesota are really nice—a lot nicer than the people in New Orleans!”

The MinneApple is a highly competitive and highly respected tournament that has helped create a name for Apple Valley on the national circuit. Apple Valley’s own sophomore and JV Lincoln-Douglas debater, Serena Abraham, says, “[The MinneApple means] a lot because it’s our home tournament. I want to be able to represent the team.”

The MinneApple 2016 Debate Tournament was another year of impressive competition, Minnesota niceness, and, of course, those red marble apples.