Strong Season Opener for Upper School Debate Team
Posted 09/29/2014 11:17AM


The Carolina Day Speech and Debate Team, the Advocating Bearcats, had a strong season opener at Riverside High School in Greenville, S.C. The squad was led by Annalise Mangone '17, who dominated her competition in Radio Speaking to finish first in her first competition ever. Julia Turpin '15 provided veteran leadership and showed off the benefits of her experience, finishing seventh in impromptu and second in SPAR debate. Ellie Davis '17 also delivered a strong performance, finishing sixth in SPAR debate. First-time competitor Austin Howard '16 also had a strong performance, finishing sixth in Radio Speaking.


Sahil Gupta '17, in his first ever tournament in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, offered a strong showing, putting up three wins against one loss. He narrowly missed podium recognition on speaker points. Nathan Ball '15 and Ethan Baechtold '16, the squad's lone varsity debate entry, used the opportunity to draw attention to the exclusion of women from sports media coverage. Several competitors were seen in hallways doing hasty, hurried research about the coverage gap facing women's sports, which Ball said was a great victory in and of itself.


Representing CDS at the tournament were Julia Turpin '15Nathan Ball '15, Sara Wasserman '16, Ethan Baechtold '16, Austin Howard '16, and Cathy Kennedy '16, Ellie Davis '17, Eric Peerless '17, Annalise Mangone '17, Sahil Gupta '17, Camilla Halsey '17, Ryan Bastian '17, and Spencer Bock '17, Kieran Clark '18 and Justin Cody '18.

Ball, a two-year veteran of the team and last year's district policy debate champion, was pleased with this year's season opener. “It's a learning experience,” he said. “This is a young team with a lot of potential. I'm happy to see this kind of growth in the squad.”


David Dvorshak, debate coach and Upper School theater faculty, was excited about the educational opportunities for this group of young people. “There's no replacement for tournament experience. The kind of energy these students have at tournaments is incredible, and their passion for research and preparation is clear.”


Mark Wonnacott, CDS's new co-coach, was enthusiastic about the team's performance. “You always like to start the season with some success. Our students were real professionals out there. I'm overwhelmed with their dedication and hard work.”


CDS competes next at the North Mecklenburg Highschool Tournament in Huntersville, NC on October 4.


For questions or more information about the team, contact Mark Wonnacott at

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