By George Brilliant ’21
After a short, but much needed summer break, the Robert C. Wright Speech and Debate team returned to action this past weekend at the Half Hollow Hills East local tournament. The Flyers, looking to model the success of the previous debate season, worked hard preparing their cases and teaching new team members.
Multiple flyers reaped the benefits of their hard work by placing in the top spots in their respective divisions. In the Varsity Lincoln-Douglas division, Sean Lochner ‘19, Christian Borruso ‘19, and Kristijan Barnjak ‘19 all attained a 3-1 record, earning them a half-qualification for the New York State Forensic League Championship. In Junior Varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate, Grant Allen ‘20 had a perfect record, earning him 2nd place, while Steven Brunetti ’20 and Jack Viscuso ‘21 placed in 8th and 7th respectively. In Novice Lincoln-Douglas, Evan Fiscella ‘21 and Kenneth Farry ‘21 highlighted the talent of the club’s newest members. The teams of Harris Cherpelis and James Cullen, and Luke Strauss and Aidan Thomas in the Novice Public Forum category both placed with a record of 3-1. Lastly, in Junior Varsity Public Forum, the sophomore team of Shane Cody and Frank Farrell finished in 5th.
The success of the Flyers propelled the team to winning the sweepstakes trophy. This honorable recognition is awarded to the school who cumulatively earns the most points.
Sean Lochner ’19, the new president of the Speech and Debate Club, had high expectations for the team, given the success the team had last year under the leadership of John Michael Magloire ‘18. Sean’s leadership and guidance enabled the team to shine in their first local tournament of the season.
Sean commented, “I’m overwhelmed with joy that we placed first at the tournament! I’m also very proud of the fantastic job done by the newest members of the team. I look forward to the continued success as the year progresses.”
These exceptional performances were indicative of the hard-work and effort put forth by the entire team. Winning first place in the first tournament of the year is no easy task, given the short time frame allotted to prepare. The Flyers’ success has set the tone for the rest of the year, and they anticipate many more victories!