Eleven members of the San Marcos High School Speech and Debate Team head to sunny California this week to compete in the 2013 Stanford University Invitational Debate Tournament.
The tournament, in its 27th year, invites the top speech and debate teams from across the United States to compete in a variety of forensic events.
The SMHS team will fly to San Francisco on Thursday, Feb. 7 to be ready for the weekend's competition.
Joining them will be coaches, CJ Odam and Johanna Haley, as well as San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero.
Three members of the team will be representing San Marcos in Lincoln Douglas Debate.
Juniors Rene Devorah-Robles and Devon von Miller, along with sophomore Charlie Jalufka, will be facing other debaters in a value debate on the topic Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system.
The students have researched and prepared cases to both affirm and negate the resolution.
Four members of the team will be competing in Congressional Debate.
In this competition, students gather in groups of approximately 20 to debate pieces of legislation like those seen in the United States Congress.
Senior Carly Villarreal, juniors Jenny McGinty and Sierra Rowe, and sophomore Matthew Roark have prepared speeches on a variety of topics, as well as sharpened their skills in Parliamentary Procedure.
The last four members of the team will compete in Extemporaneous Speaking.
In this event, students draw topics based on current news headlines and are given 30 minutes to prepare a seven minute speech on the issue.
Seniors Frankie Torres and James Dix join junior Samantha Govea and sophomore William Mayhew in this event, where they have been busy giving practice speeches and cataloguing important news articles from all the major sources.
"I am so excited for this trip," Dix said. "I know that being able to face the country's top talent will not only be a challenge, but a unique experience."
Jalufka added, "I'm nervous, but also ready to show the rest of the country what San Marcos is capable of."
The team returns home on Monday, Feb. 11, likely with plenty of stories to tell – and perhaps even some trophies.