By LESLIE COLLINS
March 27, 2013
High school seniors Corey Fisher and Jared Freemon aren’t just going out with a bang, they’re creating history.
On March 2, the two became the first policy debate team from Lincoln College Preparatory Academy to qualify for the National Forensic League (NFL) Tournament.
“It’s really exciting. I’m still shocked we made it this far,” Freemon told Northeast News. “I never thought we’d make it to the national tournament.”
“It hasn’t really set in until now that we did qualify. It just now hit me,” Fisher said.
Both students began debate in eighth grade, but for different reasons.
Fisher never intended to continue with the debate team past the eighth grade.
“I was forced into it by my English teacher for extra credit,” he said.
Debate was a way to raise his floundering English grade, but debate continued to keep his attention.
“I’m just very competitive. I love proving that I’m right,” Fisher said.
Winning trophies didn’t hurt either, he said.
As for Freemon, it was peer pressure. His friends belonged to the debate team and encouraged him to join.
“I stuck it out and I’ve enjoyed it ever since,” Freemon said.
For Fisher, debate changed him for the better, he said.
“It’s given me a framework for how I can live out my future life and the goals I can set,” Fisher said. “Qualifying for this tournament is just the first step in my life that I want to take toward the goals that I have chosen.”
Both students, along with the Lincoln Prep debate team, received recognition during the March 21 Kansas City City Council meeting.
“We are honored to receive recognition from the mayor and elated that achievement in debate has the attention of our leaders,” said Gabe Cook, director of DEBATE-Kansas City. “Corey and Jared have been part of our program since middle school and to see them develop into elite debaters and make history for Lincoln Prep is just thrilling for everyone involved.”
Fisher and Freemon will compete in the NFL Tournament June 16-21 in Birmingham, Ala., and articulate whether or not the United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.
Freemon said it’s the perfect way to end his high school career.