Hersey debaters proved they were the best in the state when they took home the top trophy from the Illinois Congressional Debate Association (ICDA) Championships held at Harper College on February 24th.
The trophy completed the four-year quest of Seniors Ethan Bowers, Mady Cohodes, Kelly Miller, and Shannon Steines. The foursome celebrated their victory by eating ice cream from the trophy cup at Dairy Queen after the tournament; for them victory was literally sweet.
This contest pitted the top four speakers from the best teams in Northern Illinois against each other for seven and a half hours in one day to select the best team.
“I played a motivational clip the day before the contest. It was the locker room scene in the movie Miracle, in which the American hockey coach addresses his team before the gold medal match with the heavily favored Soviet team in the 1980 Olympics. The coach used the phrase, ‘This is our time.’ Fortunately for us, this time was our time too,” explained Hersey Coach Jack Stanislaw.
Completing the triumph was Shannon with an individual 1st place and Mady with 3rd. Because of their outstanding accomplishments throughout the entire debate season, Mady and Ethan were named to the ICDA All-State team, which puts them in the top ten of the entire field of over 700 debaters in the league.
The week was a busy one for Kelly and Shannon, as they competed in the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) State Championships on Thursday and Friday. The two students performed the incredible feat of winning two state championships in the space of three days.
On the Invitational level five of the ten Hersey entries took home individual awards. Senior Jake McCormick, Juniors Carter Zygorski, and Roni Lesak, and Sophomore Olivia Bell all took 2nd place, while Junior Meredith Goone added a Best Presiding Officer.
The debaters can add to their glory at the NSDA National Qualifier on March 3rd and the IHSA State Final on March 18th.
After the victory, Mady expressed the mood of the team when she said, “For once in my life, I am speechless.”