Speech and Debate Travels to Texas

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Speech and Debate Travels to Texas

Photograph from Grapevine High School website

Photograph from Grapevine High School website

Photograph from Grapevine High School website

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Last weekend, a few members of ACP’s Varsity Speech and Debate team ventured to Grapevine, Texas for their first out-of-state tournament of the season. The 31st Annual Grapevine Classic Speech and Debate Tournament took place from September 9th-10th and offered some of our students the chance to compete on a national level. A total of 97 schools were in attendance, representing schools across the nation. After participating in the tournament, ACP’s students spent their Sunday afternoon exploring Texas before their 7 p.m. return flight.

One member of ACP’s Speech and Debate team, Yoojin Han, described her memorable experience, “The tournament was super tiring, but we had a fun time! It was all day on Friday and Saturday, and we didn’t get back until late Sunday night. I’m really happy that we got to see what a national tournament is like though!”

To learn more about their experience, I interviewed Sebastian Javadpoor, one of our Varsity Speech and Debate team members.

Q1: Where did Speech and Debate go last weekend?

Yoojin Han (left) and Damien Rivera (right) wait for their next round.

A1: Speech and Debate traveled all the way to Grapevine, Texas for a national tournament. We did the same last year with a trip to Columbia University in New York.

Q2: What are the benefits of traveling to out-of-state tournaments?

A2: These outside tournaments are a great way to gain some experience against difficult opponents and learn about other debate circuits around the country. Most importantly, however, these national tournaments provide us the opportunity to get “bids” that allow us to attend the most prestigious debate tournament in the nation – The Tournament of Champions.

Q3: In which categories were you competing?

A3: I competed in Congressional Debate (an event that simulates debates on the Congressional floor of government) and Extemporaneous Speaking (a speech event where you get 30 min to prepare and deliver a seven-minute speech concerning a political topic).

Q4: Who else attended the Texas tournament?

A4: Sharmila Nimbkar, Damien Rivera, Shannon McKenna, and Yoojin Han all competed in Public Forum debate, which is very similar to the debates done in Mr. Rumsey’s class freshman year.

Q5: What was your favorite part of your experience?

A5: One of the best parts of the trip was just exploring what Grapevine, Texas has to offer. I wish I had known how different Texas debate is, compared with Arizona debate. It’s like learning a whole new event, but it was fun experiencing it anyway. The greatest part of the trip was spending time with the other members of the Speech and Debate team.

Sebastian Javadpoor (left) and Damien Rivera (right) bond over barbecue.

All, in all, Speech and Debate has a busy season on the horizon, with many tournaments yet to come. Best of luck to the Speech and Debate team in their upcoming tournaments!