Turning the corner of the B hall, a shiny clear window perfectly portrays the polished awards and trophies, all lining up for the beholder to bear witness to.
These trophies all belong to the debate team, and over the first semester, the Jesuit Debate Team traveled to various parts of the state and the country to compete against some of the best teams in the nation.
Before the St. Mark’s tournament, the sophomore Varsity debaters competed at their first varsity tournament at Newman Smith. There were many nerves riding into these tournaments but, nonetheless, the Jesuit debate team was successful as the sophomore team of Kyle Cribbins ’21 and Joshua Ramos ’21 and the sophomore team of Jack Martin ’21 and Justin Burns ’21 entered the quarterfinals, both with a 3-1 record.
However, Cribbins and Ramos lost to 0-3 to Denton Guyer, and Martin and Burns won their debate against Hebron and entered semis, but unfortunately lost to Grapevine 0-3. Due to their break into elimination rounds, Cribbins and Ramos received 2 state points while Martin and Burns received 4 state points, the first state points for the sophomores this season.
On October 19-20, the Jesuit debate team competed at Plano West. This major tournament marked the start of the season for the novice debaters. The team eventually was able to close out the tournament beating teams from Greenhill, Grapevine, and Denton Guyer, earning 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 8th place as well as the top 7 speakers and 10th speaker.
On the Novice side of things, the novice team of Martin ’22 and Jain ’22 and the novice team of Ethan Beyer ’22 and Sam Steffler ’22 both were highly seeded and broke at their first tournament and made it to the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, Beyer and Steffler lost in the quarterfinals to Coppell, and Martin and Jain beat Greenhill but unfortunately lost to Coppell in a 0-3 decision. Martin was recognized as 3rd speaker in the Novice Division as well.
On the week following Plano West, the Jesuit debate team sent the junior-senior team of Adam Hall ’20 and Chris Tran ’19 and the senior team of Pete Weigman ’19 and Jack Madden ’19 to UNT. They competed with 30 teams from Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Both teams entered the elimination rounds with 4-1 records. Unfortunately, senior team Weigman and Madden lost 2-1 to North Lamar in the quarterfinals. Hall and Tran progressed through the elimination rounds beating Hebron and Crossings Christian to win the tournament and become the first team to qualify for state. Tran was awarded 2nd speaker and Madden was awarded 4th with Hall achieving 6th speaker.
On November 1st-5th, Jesuit Debate sent 6 teams to compete at the Damus Invitational in Los Angeles, California where they competed with teams from all around the country. After a grueling 6 rounds, senior team Jack Moore ’19 and Riler Holcombe ’19 got the top seed, going undefeated in the prelim rounds. Junior-senior teams Jack Griffiths ’19 and Garrett Nagorzanski ’20, and Tran and Hall as well as senior teams Ashik Amar ’19 and Logan Kim ’19, and Weigman and Madden went 4-2 in prelims, making 5 teams clear into the prelim rounds.
Senior teams Amar and Kim, and Weigman and Madden lost in the double octo-finals while the junior-senior teams made it to the octo-finals where they, unfortunately, couldn’t continue. Moore and Holcombe continued competing until the semifinals where they lost to Rowland Hall. Moore, Griffiths, Nagorzanski, and Tran were all within the top 20 speakers out of 150 debaters.
On November 9-10, Jesuit debate sent the most teams ever to the Hockaday Invitational: a staggering 14 teams. After the 5 prelim rounds, senior teams Jack Moore ’19 and Riler Holcombe, and Pete Weigman and Jack Madden as well as junior-senior teams Garrett Nagorzanski and Jack Griffiths, and Adam Hall and Chris Tran all broke into elim rounds along with sophomore teams Martin and Burns, and Cribbins and Ramos.
Only senior team Weigman and Madden and junior-senior teams Griffiths and Nagorzanski, and Hall and Tran made it past the quarterfinals with Nagorzanski and Griffiths making it to semifinals only to lose to the top-seeded Greenhill. Moore, Holcombe, Griffiths, and Nagorzanski were all recognized among the top ten speakers of the tournament. In the Novice division, freshman team Steffler and Jain barely made it to elim rounds, losing on the break round to Greenhill. Chris Martin and Steffler were recognized among the top ten speakers in the novice division.
On November 16-17, Jesuit debate sent 4 teams to compete at Prosper. Senior teams Holcombe and Moore, Amar and Kim, and Pete and Madden, as well as junior-senior team Nagorzanski and Griffiths, made it into elimination rounds.
Unfortunately, Weigman and Madden lost in the quarterfinals. Holcombe and Moore made it to semis and Amar and Kim, and Nagorzanski and Griffiths achieved first and second place and closed out the tournament. This tournament also qualified the next two Jesuit debate teams to state: Holcombe and Moore, and Nagorzanski and Griffiths.
On December 1, two senior teams, Weigman and Madden, and Giovanni Ferrer-Falto’19 and Ethan Jackson ’19, and two sophomore teams, Cribbins ’21 and Ramos ’21, and Drew Campbell ’21 and Nick Badovinus ’21 competed at Creekview.
After 4 rounds during the day, all 4 teams cleared into the quarterfinals. Only senior team Weigman and Madden, and sophomore team, Cribbins and Ramos, made it into the semifinals where they beat Coppell and Melissa High School to get 1st and 2nd place. This tournament also signified the qualification of the next Jesuit team to state, Weigman and Madden.
On December 7-8, Jesuit debate sent all the sophomore teams and novice teams to
compete at Berkner to face various schools such as Greenhill, Coppell, Lovejoy, Wylie, and St. Marks. In the Varsity division, only one sophomore team, Martin ’21 and Burns ’21, made it into the elimination rounds clearing all the way up to the quarterfinals but losing to Coppell to a 1-2 decision.
Both Martin and Burns were recognized within the top ten speakers of the tournament. In the Novice division, two novice teams broke into the elimination round, teams Luke Harrison ’22 and Chris Martin, and Jain and Steffler, with Harrison and Martin gaining top seed. Unfortunately, both teams lost in the quarterfinals to Lovejoy and Coppell 9th. Jain was recognized as the 3rd speaker and Martin was recognized as the 10th.
While the sophomores and novices were competing at Berkner, the juniors and seniors were competing at the University of Texas, a national tournament with 82 teams competing from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
After 6 rounds across two days, senior teams Weigman and Madden, Ferrer-Falto and Jackson, and Holcombe and Moore, and junior-senior teams, Nagorzanski and Griffiths, and Hall and Tran made it into the elimination rounds with both junior-senior teams getting 6th and 10th seed, respectively.
Only Holcombe and Moore and both junior-senior teams made it into the octo-finals with Nagorzanski and Griffiths making it to the quarterfinals only to lose to Westwood to a 1-2 decision. Nagorzanski, Griffiths, and Moore were recognized within the top 20 speakers of the tournament.
After a great first half of the season, Jesuit Debate hopes to continue their success through the end of the school year.
Stay tuned to The Roundup to keep up to date with Jesuit Debate success!