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Speech and Debate Team Qualifies Twelve to National Catholic Tournament

The La Salle Speech and Debate Team has qualified twelve students to the National Catholic Forensics League Tournament in Chicago this May.

Sixteen schools competed in the Philadelphia Catholic Forensics League Finals, representing 168 total students. The top six entries in each event qualified to the Grand National Tournament. The qualifiers were held at Pennsbury High School on February 29th.

Qualifying in Policy Debate were the teams of Daniel/Michael Quigley and Andrew Talone/Matt Corso. They debated both sides of Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.

Alex Sorgini and Zach Whiting qualified in Lincoln Douglas Debate, both amassing a record of 4-1, debating both sides of Resolved: Predictive Policing is unjust.

In Speech, team President Patrick Calhoun and Vice President Tyler Wood qualified in Original Oratory and Extemp, respectively. Also qualifying in Speech were Emmet Young (Extemp), Sam Perry (Declamation), Luke Murray (Declamation), and Lucky Kawczynski (Dramatic Performance).

Final places in each of these events will be announced at the league banquet on April 22nd after the Junior Varsity Finals, held on March 28th at William Tennent HS.


The Team also had a strong finish to the invitational portion of their season. Tyler Wood ’20 won the University of Pennsylvania Invitational in Lincoln Douglas Debate, defeating his opponent from Maryland in the final round on a 2-1 decision. Tyler bested a field of 89 debaters from 9 states. Patrick Calhoun ’20 and Alex Sorgini ’22 also competed in the final rounds of Oratory and Extemporaneous Speaking, respectively. Patrick finished 2nd out of a total 72 orators and Alex placed 4th in a field of 67 speakers. Luke Murray ’22 made the quarter-finals round of Declamation, placing 25th in the tournament.

Other Highlights of the Invitational Season Include:

·       November 23rd and 24th at the Villiger Invitational hosted by St. Joe’s University, Sam Perry ’22 placed 2nd in Declamation. Tyler Wood finished in semi-finals, this time in Extemp and the Policy Debate team of Michael Quigley ’22 and Daniel Quigley ’20 finished in quarter-finals, placing 6th overall.

·       On December 7th and 8th the team traveled to Virginia to compete at the George Mason University Patriot Games Classic. Patrick Calhoun placed 5th in Informative Speaking, marking the second time in three years La Salle has had a competitor in the final round of Informative at this prestigious tournament. Pat also made the semi-finals of Oratory. Emmet Young ’21 made the semi-final round of Informative. Tyler Wood and Alex Sorgini both made semi-finals of Extemp. Lucky Kawczynski ’21 competed in the quarter-finals of both Program Oral Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation. Dan Boyd ’22 and Sam Perry made the quarter-final round in Duo Interpretation. Finally, Alex Sorgini also had an impressive tournament in debate losing a close 2-1 decision in the round of 16.

·       At the Barkley Forum for High Schools hosted by Emory University, Pat Calhoun had another impressive tournament finishing 6th in Informative Speaking.

·       The Speech and Debate Team used its home-classroom advantage at the La Salle Forum Invitational held on its traditional second Saturday of December. The team placed 1st overall in speech and 3rd overall due to strong performances by Pat Calhoun, Connor Mangan ’21, Alex Sorgini, Luke Murray, Louis DiPede ’21, Sam Perry, Nick Vitello ’21, Blake Barklage ’21, Daniel Quigley, Michael Quigley, Jake de Luca ’20,  Tyler Wood, Matt Gallagher ’21, Emmet Young, Liam Keenan ’23, Matt Corso ’20, Andrew Talone ’20, Declan Young ’20 and Sam Grosser ’20.

The team has qualified three individuals to both the Tournament of Champions in April hosted by the University of Kentucky (Pat Calhoun, Alex Sorgini, and Tyler Wood) and three to the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions in Houston in May (Pat Calhoun, Luke Kawczynski, and Tyler Wood).

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