Speech and Debate Competes Nationally

Speech and Debate Competes Nationally

After a banner year on the tournament circuit, Chaminade's Robert C. Wright Speech and Debate Team is angling for further success. In 2017, the team took first place in the New York State Forensic League State Championship Tournament. This year, members have advanced to national tournaments in Washington, Florida, and California.

John Michael Magloire '18 returns to the Reagan National Library in Simi Valley, Calif. to compete in the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series National Championship Tournament in July. Sixteen of the best debaters from high schools across the U.S. reach the tournament; JM earned the top spot. He carried his momentum through to this school year, and was named the state champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the New York State Forensic League tournament on April 29. JM also traveled to the Catholic Forensic League (CFL) Grand National Tournament in Washington May 28.

"The best part of debate is the diverse group of people you meet and the relationships you build," he said. " You learn a lot academically and about yourself – how to react in different situations, how to make a fair and cohesive argument, how to be more conscious of different schools of thought."

Rory Mahon '18 placed 4th in congress at the state tournament and advanced to the CFL and National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) tournaments. Aidan Fitzgerald '18 made elimination rounds on the state level and both the CFL and NSDA events. Declamation competitors Paul Caruso '20 and Ryan Vavricka '20 also represented Chaminade in Washington; both first making quarterfinals in New York State. In extemporaneous speaking, seniors Edward Doran and Jack Valentino went to the CFL contest, and joined Christian Borruso '19, Kristijan Barnjak '19, Daniel Hepworth '18, and Peter Vouthas '20 for worlds debate – a new type of competition.

Students can join Speech and Debate at any time during their Chaminade careers. Justin and Jeremy Colorundo '19 made their first year count, moving right to CFL nationals. Meanwhile, Michael Bellia will end his first year as a Chaminade student with a school record. He became the first freshman to qualify for NSDA nationals.

Team moderator Bro. John McGrory, S.M. '84 believes underclassmen hold great promise for the team's future efforts.

"I'm very proud of the whole team's achievements – together and as individual competitors," Bro. John said. "Our speakers and debaters work well encouraging one another and coaching one another. With such a large team, our student coaches help our performance and improve their own. They know how an audience or a judge reacts to a round, and they know the work it takes to keep getting better."

Moderators and team members will also guide Chaminade's Speech and Debate summer camp. More information on that may be found here.