CDS comes close in second semester speech and debate opener
Posted 01/12/2015 08:29AM


Carolina Day Speech and Debate Team, the Advocating
Bearcats, at previous competition at Riverside High School in
Greenville, S.C. 

Hundreds of competitors from more than 20 schools, some as far away as Massachusetts, gathered at Myers Park High School in Charlotte this weekend for the Laird Lewis Invitational speech and Debate Tournament. CDS students were right in the thick of the competition, with two students narrowly missing the break to elimination rounds. Representing CDS were Ethan Baecthold ’16, Ryan Bastin ‘17, Spencer Bock ‘17, Sahil Gupta ‘17, Camilla Halsey ‘17, Annalise Mangone ‘17, and Eric Perless ‘17, Kieran Clark ‘18 , and Samantha Davis ’18. Accompanying the team were parent volunteer David Perless, staff volunteer Janis McCambridge, and co-coach Mark Wonnacott.


Gupta represented the Advocats in Varsity Lincoln-Douglas. Squaring off against third and fourth year competitors, Gupta, a first year debater, posted three wins against two losses going into his sixth round. A win would have catapulted him into elimination rounds, but a narrow loss against the eventual second-place winner at the tournament denied him the opportunity to advance. Clark, representing the squad in Novice Lincoln-Douglas, also faced a play-in round in his final competition. A win would’ve put Clark in the octofinal round. Despite a strong showing, Clark did not advance.


In public forum debate, Halsey and Davis posted a win at their first tournament as a partnership and Davis’ first career performance. Varsity competitors Baechtold and Perless also tallied a win. Summarizing his performance, Baechtold said, “It was our first time out on a really tough topic. We found some things we need to fix in our cases, and we’ll get better for next time.” Baechtold has been instrumental in helping younger team members; Perless ordinarily competes in novice. “Ethan is a great mentor,” Perless said. “I was a little worried about how I would do, but Ethan’s optimism made it a lot easier.”


In individual events, Mangone gave several stirring performances of her selection of poetry from the history of human rights. She faced several competitors early in the tournament who made deep runs into elimination rounds, but narrowly missed the break herself. Bock presented a moving oratory about overcoming loss and adversity. “I was really nervous going in to the tournament, but once I got into it, it was a lot of fun!”


The team next competes at the Hillcrest High School in Greenville, SC. For questions or more information about the team, please contact Mark Wonnacott at

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