Debate’s First Tournament Win

Debates First Tournament Win

Emma Velazco, News Editor

Abraham Esquivel, a senior, and Diego Andrade, a junior and a reporter for the Wolfpack Times, were the champions of the T2 Debate held at Downtown Magnet High School that lasted from Friday to Saturday, on Nov 4 & 5. “Well, I was surprised in every sense of the word,” said Esquivel. This was the first debate tournament win for Wolfpack, with seven teams participating throughout the six debates against various schools.


Teams like Andrade and Esquivel prepared beforehand with their advisor and class. “Mr. Bautista tends to go from group to group, preparing them with the debate structure and giving us independent time to work on the speeches we’re going to deliver. If we ever have any questions, we always have the option of talking to Jaime Olguin, a senior,  and Juliana Martinez, a senior (co-captains of the debate class),” said Esquivel, with Andrade adding that “as a class, we were given a majority of class time to improve on our speeches.”


During the debate, feelings among the teams were varied. “While it was a challenge, I had a lot of fun. It forced me to really put my all into each debate and it made each debate really interesting and exciting,” said Isabel Cantoran, a senior. 


Cantoran participated in four debates with her teammate Amy Chan, a senior, throughout both tournament days. “During the anticipation of the first debate, words cannot explain how nervous I felt. But once you’re actually knee-deep into a debate with another group, it begins to fade away. The high level of focus you need to have to what they’re saying takes away from the focus of being nervous, and after a while, it starts to become fun,” Esquivel said. 


While debaters had some strong arguments and made their way to the semifinals, some teams still believe there was room for improvement. “I feel like my arguments for neg [negative] were strong, but when I had to argue AFF [affirmative], I really struggled. I think it came down to me not really taking the time to fully understand what I was saying, which is something I want to fix for my next debate,” Cantoran said.


Even the debate champions, Esquivel and Andrade, still believe there is room for improvement in the next tournament. “I could’ve also improved on the cross-ex as in asking questions and answering them,” Andrade said.


The final round of the T2 debate was between the team of Jaime Olguin and Julianna Martinez on the AFF side against the team of Abraham Esquivel and Diego Andrade on the NEG side, with the NEG team winning 3-0. The debate teams placed 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 26th overall.