Speech and Debate Opens Second Semester with Accolades and Awards

Speech and Debate Opens Second Semester with Accolades and Awards
The Speech & Debate Team at La Salle College High School has had an excellent beginning to the Second Semester with accolades and awards at several national and regional tournaments.
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The Speech & Debate Team at La Salle College High School has had an excellent beginning to the Second Semester with accolades and awards at several national and regional tournaments.



La Salle had twenty-three (23) entries compete at the Pennsbury Falcon Invitational on January 30-31, 2015. The tournament held at Pennsbury High School East and West drew about 500 students from 61 schools and 6 states. The team of Conor Hogan '15 & Jack Grogan '15 were named Champions in Varsity Policy Debate. Hogan & Grogan were the top-seed after the preliminary rounds and finished with a perfect 9-0 record after defeating the #2 seed from Broad Run High School (VA) in the Final Round. Upon reaching the final round, Hogan & Grogan also received their second invitation to the Tournament of Champions, hosted by the University of Kentucky annually in April. They received their first invitation in September, at the Wake Forest Early Bird Invitational. Additional awardees at the Pennsbury Falcon Invitational were:

  • Jeremy Puntel '15 advanced to the Octofinals (Top 16) in Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Fred Blunt '16 advanced to the Octofinals (Top 16) in Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Shawn Robinson '16 advanced to the Double-Octofinals (Top 32) in Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Matthew Schargel '15 and Nick Parkes '16 advanced to the Semifinals and placed 7th in Duo Interpretation of Literature
  • Nick Parkes '16 advanced to the Semifinals and placed 9th in Oral Interpretation of Prose Literature
  • Aidan Young '18 advanced to the Semifinals and placed 7th in Oratorical Declamation
  • Patrick Kelly '18 advanced to the Semifinals and placed 10th in Oratorical Declamation
  • William Oxenford '17 and John Santoro '18 placed 5th in Junior Varsity Policy Debate and Bill was also recognized as the top speaker in JV


Six (6) La Salle students were accepted and competed at the prestigious Barkley Forum Tournament at Emory University from January 23-26, 2015. One of the most exclusive tournaments in the country, 135 schools and 25 states were represented in the 60th Annual Barkley Forum Tournament. Connor Williams '15 advanced to the Quarterfinals of Original Oratory and placed 13th overall in one of the most difficult speech event fields. The team of Hogan & Grogan advanced to the Double-Octofinal Round (Top 32) in Policy Debate and finished 21st overall. Other La Salle students selected to attend were the Policy Debate team of John Curran '15 and Nick Petaccio '16, and Fred Blunt '16 in Lincoln Douglas Debate.



The semester began at Montgomery Bell Academy (TN) for the Southern Bell Forum from January 2-4, 2015. Montgomery Bell Academy hosts an elite policy debate and extemporaneous speaking tournament, in which schools are allowed to select one team to apply for an invitation. The team of Hogan & Grogan were the first students in the history of the La Salle Speech & Debate Team to be selected to compete at the Southern Bell Forum.


The team is preparing for the final invitational tournaments of the year during President's Day Weekend: the Liberty Bell Classic, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, and the Crestian Policy Debate Classic, hosted by the Pine Crest School (FL). The team will then turn its attention to the qualifier portion of its schedule to determine which students will represent La Salle and our districts at:

  • The Pennsylvania High School Speech League (PHSSL) State Finals at Susquehanna Unviersity from March 19 to 21, 2015
  • The National Catholic Forensics League (NCFL) Grand National Finals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from May 21 to 25, 2015
  • The National Speech and Debate Asscoiation (NSDA) National Finals in Dallas, Texas from June 13 to 20, 2015



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