By Aidan Fitzgerald ’18
Over the course of the school year, members of the Robert C. Wright Speech and Debate Team worked tirelessly, dedicating themselves to performing outstandingly at local and national tournaments. The majority of the team culminated their season with strong performances at the New York State Forensics League Championship Tournament.
On Saturday, April 9, nearly 50 Chaminade students joined the other 1400 speakers and debaters present at Hofstra University to compete for state titles in 17 different events. Each student competed fiercely throughout the day and utilized the months of rigorous preparation under the guidance of coaches Bro. John McGrory, S.M., ’84 and Mr. Ryan Dunbar ’04.
At the end of the day, the team gathered in Hofstra’s student center for Mass led by Fr. Thomas A. Cardone, S.M., ’73 Kellenberg’s chaplain. Before heading home, the students learned who would be advancing to the elimination rounds on the following day.
Many members of the team advanced, ensuring an exciting Sunday filled with intense competition. In speech, John Kieran Larkin ’16 placed fourth in Varsity Oral Interpretation and was a semifinalist in Dramatic Interpretation. Zachary Toner ’17 and Patrick Johnson ’17 were both finalists in Impromptu, placing sixth and fourth respectively. Daniel O’Neil ’16 was a quarterfinalist in Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking, and Robert Delmond ’18 made it to the quarterfinals in Declamation. Kevin McSorley ’16 was a semifinalist in Humorous Interpretation, and Will Devito ’16 and Joseph Drennan ’16 excelled as semifinalists in Duo Interpretation. Last, Christian Gagnon ’16 finaled in Student Congress.
The debaters performed equally as well. In Novice Lincoln-Douglas, Sean Lochner ’19 was an octofinalist and Jack Valentino ’18 was a quarterfinalist. In Intermediate Lincoln-Douglas, Daniel Hepworth ’18 and John Michael Magloire ’18 were both octofinalists, and Massimo Indolini ’17 was a quarterfinalist. Last but most certainly not least, in Varsity Public Forum Rob Wines ’16 and Brendan Owens ’16 made it to the semifinals and placed third. Ending the day, Anthony Sikorski ’16 and Peter Charalambous ’16 debated in the finals of Varsity Public Forum. After a close round, the debaters were awarded second place.
When asked about his impressive second-place victory, Peter replied, “Standing in front of the hundreds of people in the audience, Anthony and I encountered a surreal experience. We debated our hearts out, and while we didn’t come out on top, it was an honor to compete on that level. We have to thank Brother John for helping us become the debaters we are today.”
The debate team was awarded third place and fourth place sweepstakes awards in Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas, respectively.
With only a few tournaments left this year, the team is proud to have competed so well on the state level. Congratulations to all speakers and debaters who attended the state championship!