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Maple Grove Senior High School’s debate team heads to Nationals

Maple Grove Senior High School’s debate team conquered their season and is heading to Nationals this summer in Louisville, Kentucky. The team started the year with nine returning members, but ended the season with 18 debaters.

When the previous coach decided to move on, Jason DeRusha, a parent of a debater on the team, and Madeline Benson, an older sibling of a Maple Grove student, stepped in as co-head coaches.

"After a year of competing remotely because of COVID, I couldn’t stand for them to not have a season,” DeRusha told the Osseo-Maple Grove Press. “I knew nothing about debate. – I competed in speech in high school and certainly have triggered a debate or two based on my work as a TV journalist –, but I knew I could be there and show up for the kids."

In Public Forum, a two person team debate category, Laila Ali and Mira Cook, and Seth DeRusha and Timur Usenov finished as National Qualifiers. However, Ali and Cook do not plan to attend Nationals, so Amareah Rolfzen and Baanee Singh have the opportunity to attend instead and are also National Qualifiers.

Andrew Ladhani is also heading to Nationals as a qualifier in the Lincoln Douglas debate category, where debaters discuss issues from a moral standpoint.

Learn more about Maple Grove Senior High’s debate team in the Osseo-Maple Grove Press article.