Maranatha Debate Team Continues to Win Amidst Global Pandemic

While school, sports, and much of life remain shut down due to the continued global pandemic, one sense of normalcy at Maranatha is the continued successes of our hard-working Speech and Debate Team. 
On Saturday, January 23, the Maranatha Varsity Debate Team competed in the annual SCDL Spring Varsity Debate Tournament. While the tournament occurred virtually, it expanded the opportunity for more of our students to participate. Jerry Liu, an experienced member of our debate team, and Jessica Tang, a first time debater, teamed up to form a partnership for Public Forum (two-on-two debate) from their homes in China. What made their participation incredibly impressive is that when the tournament began at 8:00 a.m. P.S.T., it was midnight in China. After four rounds of grueling debates, the team known as Liu and Tang competed well into the early morning hours of their time zone. Coach Patrick Mesisca ‘92 remarked, “The work ethic and passion of our students has always been an encouragement to me. But to watch the dedication and perseverance of students like Jerry and Jessica, who are willing to compete in a tournament that, from their time zone, had them competing in the earliest hours of the morning, offers encouragement on a whole other level.”

The debate tournament also featured senior Euel Kebebew, junior Samuel Tong, and sophomore Isabella Madrid, debating in Lincoln Douglas style on the topic of whether states ought to ban lethal autonomous weapons. The Lincoln Douglas debates are values debates that allow students to engage on political, social, and current event issues from a moral perspective. In the end, Isabella Madrid emerged victorious as a trophy winner for Maranatha.

The Speech and Debate Team will now direct its focus on the upcoming virtual Varsity Speech Tournament to be held on January 30, and the upcoming annual (virtual) Rotary Four-Way Test Speech Tournament to be held in February 2021.  Any students who are interested in competing in this year’s virtual Rotary Four-Way Test Speech Tournament should contact Mr. Mesisca at for details.