By: Luis Leon
Intensity of verbal combat between the Warde Mustangs and rivalry schools heated off within the last two months in the CDA debate competitions. On November 10th and December 8th, the debate team headed off against matches that discussed philosophical and political questions. Questions which required analytical thought, fast processing of information, and a sharp responsive tenacity when in discussion.
Following the first competition in November, the host, Pomperaug High School, held a resolve that stated: “Elite schools should prioritize ability over alternative methods of selecting students.” Participants such as Warde’s Emma Bella Lawrence (cpt), Chris Saladin, Amy Li, and Josh Lee took part in the Varsity team to bat around the resolve. In the Novice team, students Brett Ingram, Peter Murphy, Janeth Gamboa, and Mylan Radulovic battled out the same discourse.
Some notable placements that the team made within this tournament were Lawrence and Saladin making it to 6th place (out of 52 places) in Varsity. Emma Bella managed a solo score of 11th place in “speaker” position (out of 104 places). Novice scores had Ingram and Murphy to win an astonishing 1st place (out of 68 places). Bret Ingram alone managed speaker place in 2nd (out of 136 places).
The December competition had a lot more competitors filling the room. St. Lewis School hosted the tournament with the resolve: “Internet companies should not moderate users and content unless such content is illegal.” With a total of 6 participants in Varsity, students Lawrence and Saladin, Zoe Gupta(cpt), Ethan Larkin(cpt), Amy Li, and Luis Leon took match. The highest placement for this competition was Lawrence and Saladin once again, making it to 13th place (out of 46). Lawrence alone placed 14th (out of 92). In the novice team there were a total of 8 competitors: Lena Kufferman, Brett Ingram, Finn Johnston, Daniya Ali, Peter Murphy, Giovanni Panagiotakis, Leanne Bradshaw, and Connor Ortega. Placing highest speaker place Kufferman in 13th (out of 90). As for teams Johnston and Kufferman made it to 9th place (out of 45).
One of the captains, Emma Bella Lawrence, noted that this was one of the biggest turn outs yet for the debate team and was rather impressed.
Warde’s debate team has been around since 2003, ran by Coach Michael McGarry. Each competition is held with the goal to try to qualify for states. Within a competition there are 3 matches. If a pair were to win 3-0 for the entire competition they automatically qualify. Brett Ingram and Peter Murphy, for example. States would be held as a final tournament sometime in March. Warde themselves will be hosting January’s tournament next month.
The spirit of debate is, as mentioned earlier, to have a fast skill of processing information. To do this, McGarry claims, you have to have a basic understanding of government and a little bit of philosophy. Even so, sometimes it comes down to how well of a speaker you are.
May the Mustangs carry on strong for the rest of the season.