Varsity debate teams score well at recent tournaments


Charlotte Henderson

The junior varsity and novice debate teams end their competition season and work on preparing for next year’s topic on water resource protections.

Audrey Matei, Reporter

The debate team’s performance at the two most recent virtual tournaments shows the varsity team has been scoring well while the novice team still has room for improvement.

During the virtual Lexington Winter Invitational Jan. 16-18, four novice teams and one varsity team competed. Novices Adam Cheema and Conner Booth went into a runoff round, eventually going 4-2, a winning record. Mahi Shah and Austin Kim, as well as Alice Fan and Cyrus Edmailzadeh both went 3-3, while Annika Gupta and Lena Valenti went 2-4. 

Varsity debaters Berk Oto and Aaron Kim, both juniors, went 4-2, advancing to the octofinals. 

Varsity coach Sonny Patel thinks the varsity division has been doing very well this season, especially due to how well many of the younger members are scoring.

“In the varsity division we did very well. We’ve never had a team of juniors make it to a bid round at Lexington,” Dr. Patel said. 

He said because of how limited learning debate virtually is, the novice division still has room to improve. But, he still thinks that the novices have the makings of great future debaters. 

“The novice division is ready to explode; we’ve got lots of amazing, smart, young, talented students who are very creative and have lots of potential,” they said.

At the virtual Billy Tate Southern Bell Forum hosted by Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville Jan. 2-4, two varsity teams of juniors competed: Aaron Kim and Berk Oto, and Brandon Bousquette and Tech Nix. Both teams went 2-4.

Brandon seemed content with Lab’s performance in such a competitive tournament.

“I’m pretty happy with the results,” Brandon said. “This is the hardest regular tournament of the season.”