Pictured: Back row: Jackson Whitmire, Kaden Motarjeme, Jack Cook, Becker Andry, Will Cahan, Zoe Eshan
Front row: Olivia Kennedy, Kathleen Norton, Matthew Schultz, Ryan Bastin, Samantha Davis
The 2015-2016 Advocat Speech and Debate season got off to an exhilarating start as three first-time competitors received podium recognition at the Riverside tournament. Representing the school were Ryan Bastin ’17, Jackson Whitmire ‘17, Becker Andry ‘18, Jack Cook ‘18, Samantha Davis ‘18, Zoe Eshan ‘18, Kaden Motarjeme ‘18, Kathleen Norton ‘18, Matthew Schultz ‘18, William Cahan ’19, and Olivia Kennedy 19. Accompanying the team were coaches David Dvorscak and Mark Wonnacott, and staff volunteer Janis McCambridge.
In individual events, team veteran Ryan Bastin steered into a challenge with two new events, original oratory and impromptu. He said of the experience, “I know I was in tough rounds, but I really had fun trying new events.”
Samantha Davis, beyond performing her shocking expose of race in mass incarceration, also provided considerable leadership and presence to the team. The veteran leadership was invaluable, as the three novice Original Oratory competitors, Norton, Schultz, and Kennedy, won second, third, and fourth place recognition in their division. Kennedy said after the event, “I feel like I really applied myself, and it’s great to see that effort pay off.”
In debate, the team’s youthful exuberance set the stage for a promising start. All six competitors were in their first tournament of the season, and all acquitted themselves admirably. Particularly, Motarjeme, Cook, and Whitmire finished with even records. Motarjeme posted an impressive three wins against a single loss, missing podium recognition on judges’ preference.
“It’s always rewarding to see the classroom work these kids do up on its feet and performing,” said Dvorscak. Wonnacott echoed this sentiment. “These kids worked hard, and it paid off for them. I couldn’t ask for more.”
The team next competes at North Mecklenberg High School on October 10. For more information about the Speech and Debate team, contact Mark Wonnacott at email@example.com.