May 23, 2024
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By Gail M. Williams
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

At a time when reasonable discussion concerning political topics seems like a distant dream, MHS Cross-X debaters are learning the value of careful research and reasoned argument.
Maria Campos, senior, and Nathan Ferguson, sophomore, recently made it to the semi-final Cross-X round in district competition at Friona, earning fourth and second alternate places.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work they put into this event,” said UIL Speech and Debate coach Cristian J. Mora. “As the UIL spring season approaches, both Maria and Nathan will continue to make Muleshoe proud.”
During Cross-X debate, two teams compete for 90 minutes over a political topic.
“It’s about researching, making their arguments and defending a case,” Mora said. “Students prepare for two to three months before a competition.”
Once the students are prepared, they practice by defending their positions with the debate coach or a member of the staff acting as judges to determine who wins.
“The debate itself looks a lot like a mock trial,” Mora said. He credits technology specialist Frank Recio for working with the Cross-X students.
Nathan is a sophomore, and Cristian says he will be competing at the state level in El Paso in another Speech and Debate event. As a senior, Maria will soon have a real-life opportunity to use the skills she learned in Cross-X.
“Cross-X gives her communications skills that college interviewers are looking for,” Mora said. “She has strategies in place that are going to be muscle memory by now. Once you’ve got it down, you can get really good at it.”
Though Cross-X debate is finished for the year, UIL District Speech and Debate events will determine region and state qualifiers. The competition takes place at West Texas A&M University, Canyon, on March 24.
Mora started as MHS Speech and Debate coach in December 2019. He grew up in Muleshoe and was part of the MHS speech program under Dr. Kerry Moore.

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