Bozeman High School debaters competing for the chance to win $10,000 in the Bickel & Brewer-NYU International Public Policy Forum have advanced to the Sweet 16 round.

If the Bozeman students defeat their opponents in the next round, the Debate Development Initiative of Singapore, they will win an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for the Elite Eight finals in April.

Bozeman’s debaters defeated a team from Brooklyn Technical High School in New York in a 2-1 judges’ decision, said James Maxwell, head coach of the Hawkers speech and debate team.

The Hawkers team comprises Andrew Scherffius, Gus Boling and Lane O’Donnell.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Maxwell said, adding that the students did a great job, wrote good essays and worked hard. They advanced from the field of 32 teams to the round of 16. Some 213 teams from all over the world originally entered the competition.

The Bozeman team had to write essays on climate change for the competition.

Winners of the next round will be announced Feb. 11. Teams competing for the honor come from Texas to Michigan, Canada and Korea.

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