Should the United States federal government substantially reduce its Foreign Military Sales and/or Direct Commercial Sales of arms from the United States?
American politicians have a difficult time answering this question, which is this year’s debate resolution, a shift from the immigration topic from last year. Jesuit debaters had to provide an effective argument to answer questions like this. With a new group of varsity Jesuit debaters, the team started their season strong and now look forward to growing their minds and experiences as debaters throughout the many tournaments this year.
From September 6-7, Jesuit competed at the Grapevine Classic with 66 other teams from around the country. After 5 rounds across 2 days, senior team Adam Hall ’20 and Garrett Nagorzanski ’20 were #14 with a 4-1 record, and Jesuit junior team Jack Martin ’21 and Joshua Ramos ’21 were seeded #29, unfortunately too low to break into elims. In the Round of 16, Hall and Nagorzanski beat #3 seed Reagan on a 3-0, but lost to the Liberal Arts and Science Academy from Austin on a close 2-1 decision. Despite losing in the quarter finals, the senior team gained the first state points for the Jesuit debate team, earning 3 of the 12 points necessary to qualify for the state tournament.
From September 14-16, Jesuit competed at the Greenhill Fall Classic with 104 teams from around the country. The senior team Hall and Nagorzanski made it to Round 5 with a 3-2 record, ending their run to Kent Denver from Colorado. Hall was recognized within the top 30 speakers out of the 200+ there. The team overall was seeded within the top 40 out of all the teams in the country.
From September 27-28, Jesuit sent four teams to rack up state points for the other teams, competing with other teams from around the city. After 4 close rounds, junior-senior team, Nick Badovinus ’21 and Chris Martin ’20 seeded 7th with a 3-1 record, ultimately losing to 2nd seed Hebron. Junior teams Gabriel Skariah ’21 and Justin Burns ’21 along with Martin ’21 and Ramos ’21 were seeded 9th and 10th, respectively, and barely missed the top 8 to make it into elimination rounds. Martin ’21 and Ramos ’21 were recognized within the top 15 and junior-senior team Badovinus and Martin gained 2 state points, making them 2 points closer to qualifying for the state tournament and the second Jesuit team with state points.
Traveling to the first out of state tournament, on October 12th-14th, Jesuit sent three teams to compete at the Trevian Invitational in Illinois with 97 teams competing from around the country. After 6 long rounds across two days, senior team Hall and Nagorzanski were ranked 14th seed, the top 4-2 seed with the other two teams, Martin and Ramos and Badovinus and Martin, still able to break on the second day. In the elimination rounds on Saturday, Hall and Nagorzanski beat Glenbrook South from Illinois on a 3-0 and beat 3rd seed Wayzata from Minnesota on a 2-1 decision in the double Round of 16. After a bit of rest the next day, Hall and Nagorzanski beat #11 seed Oak Park River Forrest on a 2-1 in the quarter finals. Unfortunately, the senior team lost to Westminster from Georgia on a 3-0 decision. Hall and Nagorzanski both were within the top 10 speakers, with Nagorzanski and Hall being awarded 5th and 8th speaker overall respectively.
Competing at another competitive regional tournament, on October 18th-20th, Jesuit sent Hall and Nagorzanski and sophomore-junior team Ramos and Aarin Jain ’22 to compete at the Heart of Texas Invitational against 74 other teams from around the country. After six rounds spread evenly across two days, Hall and Nagorzanski were #13 seed, qualifying to the elimination rounds. On Sunday, the senior team beat the #4 seeded Liberal Arts and Science Academy on a 2-1 decision and #5 seeded McQueen from Nevada on a 3-0 decision. The team lost to top-seeded Washburn Rural from Kansas on a 3-0 decision, ending their run in the semi-finals. Hall and Nagorzanski were again recognized within the top 20 speakers at the national tournament.
After a variety of local, regional, and national tournaments, the varsity debaters gave some thoughts on their experience so far. When asked about his experience so far, Jain said, “I liked the fact that I got to experience new arguments that I was never really exposed to in the novice division before, and the I enjoyed the friendliness of the debaters at Newman Smith and St. Marks.”
Badovinus reflected on his travel tournament experience saying, “I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from a national tournament. New Trier in Chicago was an extremely eye- opening experience from start to finish. With a pool of almost a hundred teams, I became quite nervous with where we would finish at the tournament, but as the rounds went on, the more I treasured the disclosures that the wide panel of judges provided us. These tips and lessons are, and will continue to be irreplaceable and pivotal to the development of my debate career. I’m glad I got the opportunity to share an adventure with my brothers, and I’m excited for what the rest of the year will hold.”
Although Ethan Williams ’21 has only been to one tournament this year, he said that “it’s been an eye opening experience to get exposed to arguments I’ve never heard about and how the topic is constantly changing. Also, switching my speaker position has allowed me to see debates from a completely different side. Even though it’s definitely been a transition, it’s been really fun to utilize different parts of our arsenal and to engage in a different way of debating. Lastly, its been surprisingly fun to navigate the bumps and bruises that come with a new partnership, and I’m really excited to explore what our identity as a team will become.”
The Jesuit debate team still has a lot of tournaments to go to, in the first and second semester, with a lot of high hopes for the new batch of varsity debaters. Stay tuned to The Roundup to keep up to date with updates on the Jesuit debate team!