02/02/11 Plymouth High School senior Bryt Hiatt was named first alternate to the National Forensic League (NLFL) tournament at the District Debate contest in Elkhart held January 28 and 29. Hiatt survived several rounds of Lincoln-Douglas completion beginning on Friday night and lasting until very late on Saturday night. Contestants continue debating until they receive two losses. In the end, Hiatt was paired against a Valparaiso debater who, like Hiatt, already had one loss.
The topic for the Lincoln-Douglas event was as follows: “In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.”
Until the rounds are posted just prior to debating, contestant do not know if they will be speaking on the affirmative side or the negative side of the question and must be prepared to defend the two differing points of view on the topic.
Hiatt had only competed in four previous debate tournaments in his high school career and this one also marked his first of the season due to scheduling conflicts.
Hiatt primarily competes in speech events and has been in the top 30 in the nation for two consecutive years in United States Extemporaneous Speaking.
PHS Head Speech and Debate Coach David McKenzie expressed his admiration for Hiatt saying, “For Bryt, LD has been kind of a hobby that he enjoys doing for a change of pace. To achieve the level of success he has is a tribute to his ability to see multiple sides of an issue in a short time, his research skills, his presentation skills, and his ability to work successfully with his coaches – especially Matt Pickut the past two years - to prepare.”
On February 4 and February 5, Hiatt will compete at the Indiana (IHSFA) state tournament in Kokomo. McKenzie said, “ Bryt has made himself a contender for a strong finish at state this weekend. He will certainly be viewed as someone to be reckoned with.”