Maranatha Debate Team Wins at SCDL Spring Varsity Tournament
By: Pat Mesisca ‘92
On Saturday, January 27, the 2018 Maranatha Debate Team competed in the Southern California Debate League (SCDL) Spring Varsity Debate Tournament at Schurr High School in Montebello.
The Debate Team featured 24 Maranatha competitors and over 300 student competitors from local Southern California high schools. The Maranatha Debate Team competed in two different styles of debate. One was the Public Forum Debate: a two-on-two debate on the topic of whether or not Catalonia should be granted independence from Spain. The other was the Lincoln Douglas Debate: a one-on-one, trial-like values debate on whether or not plea bargaining should be abolished in the United States criminal justice system. The Debate Team worked very hard since returning from Christmas vacation to develop and fine-tune their cases for a winning competition. In the end, the Public Forum Debate Duo of juniors Hunter McCoy and Caleb Strong made the finals and brought home a trophy in their category, and senior Mitchell Yeh, who won a trophy in the Jack Howe National Circuit Tournament in the fall of 2017, was a finalist in the SCDL Spring Varsity Debate Tournament for the Lincoln Douglas Debate and earned a trophy in his category.
Another highlight of the day was the return of alumni Cameron Chen ‘17 and Andrew Morales ‘15 as debate tournament judges. The SCDL debates can only occur because of the willingness of adults to volunteer their time to judge these tournaments. Most of the time, the judges are composed of parents. But at this debate, alumni of the Speech and Debate Team were invited to return as judges and the event served as a memory and an act of service for the Maranatha community. Debate coach Patrick Mesisca ‘92 said, “The sign of a strong program is not only demonstrated by wins as we experienced today in the achievements of Mitchell, Hunter, and Caleb, but also in the lasting impact Maranatha programs make in the lives of our students long after they graduate, as I experienced today by reconnecting with Cameron and Andrew. The highlight for me is knowing that Maranatha is making an impact in people’s lives that begin in high school and continues on for eternity.”
The Maranatha Speech Team is currently preparing for the SCDL Spring Varsity Debate Tournament at Arcadia High School on Saturday, February 3, 2018 and the Rotary Four-Way Test Speech Tournament prelims on February 21-22. Students who are interested in experiencing the Speech and Debate program without competitions should consider signing up for the Speech and Debate Summer Institute program beginning in June 2018.