Ransom Everglades students are top debate team in U.S.

Ransom Everglades speech and debate students Jacob Stern and Megan Mers display their awards.

Ransom Everglades speech and debate students Megan Mers and Jacob Stern are ranked the No. 1 high school debate team in the country after two huge victories this past month.

They competed as a team in the Public Forum Debate division of two national tournaments addressing the issue of whether or not Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Mers and Stern were the overall winners in the national tournament, the Crestian Classic, in Fort Lauderdale, beating 77 other teams. They also came in second place in the recent Yale Invitational in New Haven, CT, competing against 171 other teams from across the country. They are coached by Doug Miller who traveled with them to each tournament.

Mers, 17, a senior, and Stern, 16, a junior, have been active on the Ransom Everglades Speech and Debate Team since ninth grade. Their wins gave each an invitation to attend the Tournament of Champions (TOC) in Lexington, KY, in April 2013. The TOC is the most prestigious tournament on the “national circuit,” allowing only teams who have done exceptionally well throughout the year to attend.

The debate rankings system is done by www.debaterankings.com, which was established two years ago by several debate coaches from across the country. The rankings system assigns a certain point value to each national tournament throughout the year, depending on the size and difficulty of the field at each tournament. Teams are then granted a certain amount of points from that tournament total depending on how well they did at that tournament.

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