Home-Field Advantage: Speech and Debate Cleans Up at its Annual Tournament

Competitors meet in Darby Auditorium for the awards ceremony after the last round, waiting to see if they placed.

FBy Sean Lochner ’19

From breaking records at the Princeton Classic to dominating the competition at numerous local and invitational tournaments, the Chaminade Speech and Debate team has had a strong first four months. With the onset of 2017 came the Chaminade Invitational Tournament, an opportunity for speakers and debaters to continue the team’s fortune on its own turf.

Chaminade has held its annual speech tournament since 1947, a tradition that draws in teams from around the New York State Forensic League. Notable powerhouses like Regis, Scarsdale, and the Bronx High School of Science were all present, offering a challenge that only hard work could surmount. Despite this fierce competition, Chaminade’s Robert C. Wright Speech and Debate team continued its terrific season with a fantastic showing at this prestigious tournament.

John Michael Magloire ’18 runs a current events discussion after school to prepare extemporaneous speakers.

Throughout the day the team fought through the early rounds as snow started to accumulate outside. Unfortunately, the buildup of snow led to the cancellation of the final round, a decision which received mixed emotions from the tournament’s many participants and coaches. Despite the snowy setback, however, the Flyers pulled through and placed in numerous events.  

Pushing Chaminade to a sixth place overall finish, the following individuals placed highly: Philip Dunne ’17, finalist in Dramatic Performance; Patrick Johnson ’17, seventh place in Original Oratory; Christian Borruso ’19, fifth place in JV Extemporaneous Speaking; Kristijan Barnjak ’19 and Shane McCabe ’20, finalists in JV Extemporaneous Speaking; Alexander Caparelli ’17, first place varsity in Extemporaneous Speaking; John Michael Magloire ’18, third place in varsity Extemporaneous Speaking; and Jack Valentino ’18, fifth place in varsity Extemporaneous Speaking.

President of the Debate team, John Michael Magloire ’18, walked away satisfied with the results of this crucial tournament.

“After just a week of preparation, which consisted of practice speeches and current events discussions, we had a great performance at this year’s Chaminade Tournament.  Although finals were canceled because of the snow, the team managed to place in many different categories.  Overall, I am confident that the team will continue this success throughout 2017,” said Magloire.

President of Speech, Patrick Johnson, was also pleased with the team’s results. Echoing Magloire’s sentiment, he noted, “Although small in number, the Chaminade speech team had a great showing.  Alex Caparelli really propelled the team with his first-place victory in extemp.”  

Alex Caparelli ’17 reads articles on his laptop to prepare for his upcoming speech.

The team is moving into a difficult part of the season as numerous competitive tournaments rapidly approach.  This Friday the Flyers will travel to Lexington, MA, to compete in the Lexington invitational, one of the most difficult tournaments on their calendar. The team’s success last weekend at the Chaminade Invitational has motivated it to keep its season-long winning streak alive and continue to break records this weekend at Lexington.