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Bison Beat Online

The Student News Site of Buffalo High School

Bison Beat Online

The Student News Site of Buffalo High School

Bison Beat Online

Meeting goals

Arabie qualifies for state competition, picks up national bid
Senior Nicollette Arabie preps for finals in Congressional Debate at the Lindale tournament this weekend. Arabie placed second overall, qualifying for state competition and picking up one of two bids she needs to make nationals this spring.

The speech and debate team has hit three meets this month, with all the debaters earning some experience in Congressional debate and senior Nicollette Arabie meeting some of her goals for the season already. 

The first meet of the year was at Melissa High School with senior Mason Ayles and sophomore Kaylen Sanchez competing. While neither made finals, coach Melonie Menefee was pleased that they held their own. 

“When we go to these big meets in the MetroPlex, we hit tons of 5A and 6A schools that have massive debate teams with multiple coaches,” Menefee said. “It’s easy to get a little intimidated, and so for Mason and Kaylen to be active in the chamber and do well was a big win, medal or no medal.” 

The next Saturday the full team traveled to Princeton, where the Congress competition was 100+ competitors strong, again largely from much larger schools. Nicollette Arabie made her way through semi-finals and then finals, placing second overall and earning eight of the 10 points she needed to qualify for TFA State competition this spring.  

“Nicollette did an incredible job, and even though the newer debaters didn’t place, they were able to get speeches in and get feedback from the judges, and they all watched finals, which is always helpful,” Menefee said. “It was a big meet for us for so early in the season, but every one of them came away glad they had come.” 

The Princeton meet was larger than most of the students were used to competing at. 

“We mainly competed against schools who were 5A and 6A,” junior Tristan Cole said. “We had a couple of weeks to prepare and get ready, and I really feel like the practice and the meet were beneficial and will help in the long run.” 

When the full team travels together, there are plenty of laughs and fun shared along the way. 

“Spending a bunch of time with the rest of our speech team is always fun,” Arabie said. “It leads to some pretty funny conversations.” 

The plan for the whole team to compete on Saturday in Lindale was derailed when the sophomore class decided to hold a homecoming dance. 

“There was no way I was going to expect the students to give up the homecoming dance for a debate meet,” Menefee said. “Nicollette, however, had her sights set on finishing her TFA qualification and picking up a TOC bid, so she decided to skip the dance for the debate.” 

There are a limited number of Tournament of Champion qualifying meets; Arabie tried to get a bid at Lindale last fall and missed, placing ninth instead of the required top six. This year, however, she met her goal; she placed first in her prelim chamber with a perfect score on all six speeches she gave, then went on to win second place overall in finals. 

“Nic is on her way to meet some new goals for Bison debate,” Menefee said. “This is the earliest I’ve ever had a student qualify for TFA state, and if she can pick up one more TOC bid, we’ll be competing in Kentucky this spring. If she keeps working and improving the way she has been, she’ll be there.” 

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About the Contributor
Kadance Britt, Reporter
I am 17 and this is my first year in journalism. I work at DQ and I like spending time with my family and my boyfriend. I stick to myself but I am a social person when it comes to being in a large group or in class. I am a senior and will be graduating very soon. I am looking forward to all of the fun memories that will be made in this class and I am ready to evolve into a young graduated adult.