Going into her first round ever, Ellie Cross ‘20 was understandably nervous. As soon as the schedule was posted, she flew into action. She was highlighting her case, reading over last minute evidence, and otherwise buzzing with energy.
She didn’t win her first debate, but she kept her energy up. By the end of the competition, she walked out of her last round with her head held high. “Yeah, I just crushed it,” she said with a smile. She closed her first competition with a pair of wins, missing the break to elimination rounds on judge’s preference.
Ellie wasn’t alone in opening the season with a bang. Amanda Antal ’19 came back from a few early losses to finish just shy of an even record as well. “I really feel like I learned a lot, and I can’t wait to get back out there,” said Amanda.
Zoë Eshan ’18, and Matthew Schultz ’19, provided veteran leadership for the young team, while adding strong individual performances as well. Matthew’s oratory on mental wellness scored third place in one competition, while Zoë’s interpretation of “The Yellow Wallpaper” landed her a second place finish. “I like trying to prevent people from making the same mistakes I did my first year. They get to make a whole new set of mistakes!” said Zoë about her mentoring role on the team.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these students,” said Mark Wonnacott, team coach. “They went up against senior competitors from 17 states, and they handled the pressure like professionals.” Unlike in the athletic world, the CDS Speech and Debate team competes against schools of all sizes from all over the country. This finish represents a strong opening to the team’s competitive season.
The CDS Speech and Debate team will compete next at Riverside High School in Greer, SC. For more information about the team, please contact Mark Wonnacott.