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Speech and Debate Team Sees Success in September

by Nicholas Diaz

Columbus Debate team members pose with their awards. (Source: IG: @columbushs_debate)

September was a month of success for the Christopher Columbus Speech and Debate Team. The team competed in three major tournaments and hosted its own as well. Many team members placed in these tournaments – bringing back awards and even championship titles. For those that did not, the tournaments were great learning opportunities to improve for October.

Grapevine, Texas – The Grapevine Classic

During this tournament, many team members got the chance to apply new skills learned at camps such as the Institute for Speech and Debate. The team traveled to Grapevine on September 9th to compete against some of the country’s top schools. At the Grapevine Classic, Columbus demonstrated its strength in the debate events of Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas.

In JV Public Forum, sophomore Joseph Alonso and junior James Sacher took home the championship with a record of 7W, 0L.

In JV Lincoln-Douglas, sophomore Matthew Moreno placed 2nd with a record of 7W, 1L, and junior Nicholas Diaz placed as third best speaker.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Flying L Invitational

The next tournament was the 25th Flying L Invitational at Ft. Lauderdale High School on September 17th. This tournament saw more wins for the team. At this tournament, junior Nicholas Diaz and sophomore Sven Stumbauer placed 4th in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Mixed Extemporaneous Speaking, respectively. In addition, sophomore Lucas Rivera finished as a finalist in Student Congress. Flying L was also the first tournament for many novices, so it was a great learning experience as well.

Miami, Fla. at CCHS – FCDI South Tournament

The next week, Columbus hosted the first FCDI South tournament of the year. At the tournament, sophomores Matthew Mosquera and Alexi Hernandez, and senior Alessandro Figueredo placed 1st in their respective events of Extemporaneous Speaking, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, and Informative Speaking. In addition, junior Nicholas Dominguez placed 1st in Novice Public Forum Debate as a fill-in with a debater from Miami Arts Studio.

Online – Mid America Cup

The last tournament was the Mid America Cup, which was hosted online. Although no one placed, the tournament was a great learning experience, especially for those debaters making the transition from JV to varsity.

As sophomore Joseph Alonso commented, “It was all of our first times in varsity, so [the tournament] really helped us learn and acquire knowledge as to how the novice and JV pool differentiates from the varsity pool.”

Looking Ahead

Overall, the Columbus Speech and Debate Team saw great success in September, but it also recognized areas for improvement in October.

According to Coach Gabriel De Tuya, “We are still a young team. The majority of our team is composed of underclassmen, so getting those underclassmen up to the varsity level but also having our older students stand up as leaders, role models, and even as assistant coaches is needed for our younger generation of debaters.”

The team will continue to work hard and prepare for upcoming tournaments in October, including the Nova Titan Invitational, a Catholic Forensic League tournament, and the Florida Blue Key Speech and Debate Tournament.

“I am excited to see what these tournaments have in store,” Coach De Tuya commented.

Debate team members along with moderators Mr. De Tuya and Mr. Ciocca. (Source: IG: @columbushs_debate)

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