The Carrollton High School debate team captured its 13th state championship Saturday. Pictured from left are Will Roberson, Mark Zimmer, Lyndsey Oliver (assistant coach), Eden Long, Tee Hawkins, James Houser, Kieran Kelly, Richard Bracknell (head coach), Drew Johnson, Audrey Browning, and Luke Zimmer.
CARROLLTON, GA — Nine Carrollton High School students competed in the Georgia Forensics Coaches Association state competition Saturday and brought home the championship trophy.
CHS debate coach Richard Bracknell said the team had a strong showing in the Public Forum Debate.
“Team captain Mark Zimmer was a great source of stability for the team — he is the only senior this year,” he said. “Although this team is young, they have won numerous individual awards and championships and I couldn’t be prouder of them for their hard work.”
Bracknell is no stranger when it comes to winning debate championships. The debate program has the second-most state championships in the school’s history, only exceeded by boys track. Saturday’s victory marks the 13th state championship title for the CHS debate team.
GFCA also features a state championship for second-year debaters, typically sophomores and some juniors, depending on when they started to debate, which CHS won last month. Representing the team were Audrey Browning, Kieran Kelly, Eden Long, and Luke Zimmer.
Principal Ian Lyle said he is proud of the CHS debate team.
“Their success this year was not luck, but perseverance, intelligence, and a competitive spirit that was extraordinary” said Lyle. “I am very proud of all of them and so appreciative of Coach Bracknell’s influence that will carry these students not only through debate, but through life.”
THE HISTORICAL RECORD: Carrollton’s debate program not only shines in the academic realm, but also stands out among all competitive entities at CHS, boasting the second highest number of state championships earned in the school’s history, surpassed only by boys track. The team has been crowned state champion 13 times – in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2010, 2018, 2021, 2022, and 2023. The team was the state runner-up champion seven times – in 1986, 1990, 1991, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004. The team also has captured numerous region titles and tournament wins.