Speech and Debate Team Ends Qualifier Season Strong
The team will now turn its attention to its final three championships – the Tournament of Champions hosted by the University of Kentucky, N.C.F.L. Grand Nationals, and the N.S.D.A. National Championship.
March has been a busy month for the Speech and Debate Team with qualifiers for Catholic Nationals, the National Championship of the National Speech and Debate Association, and the Pennsylvania State Championship.
On March 4th, eight students qualified to represent the Philadelphia Catholic Forensics League in Louisville, KY over Memorial Day Weekend at the National Catholic Forensics League (N.C.F.L.) Grand National Tournament. To qualify for N.C.F.L's a student needs to place in the top six in our league at finals.
Team President Ben Fedgechin '17 qualified in Original Oratory, writing an original 10-minute speech on the value of empathy. Jack Reckner '18 qualified in Dramatic Performance, interpreting a 10-minute selection of "Cubs" by Patrick McManus. JV Fluehr '19 placed in the top 2 in the league in Declamation, performing the TEDTalk given by Kathryn Schulz. Aidan Young '18 qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking, an event requiring research skills and fast-thinking. Students are given 30 minutes to research current event topics and prepare a 7-minute speech without any note cards. The Policy Debate Teams Jack Martin '18/Ian Mattson '19 and Bill Oxenford '17/John Santoro '18. Policy Debate dives into a year-long resolution, asking teams to debate both sides of Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its diplomatic and/or economic engagement with the People's Republic of China. Also recognized by the league was Martin Csongradi '18 in Lincoln Douglas Debate.
On March 17th-18th, nineteen Explorers competed at the Pennsylvania State Championship. Patrick Kelly '18 won Informative Speaking, writing and performing an original 7-minute speech on the history and business model of McDonald's. JV Fluehr and Patrick Calhoun '20 placed 2nd in the state in Duo Interpretation, performing a 10-minute selection of "The Merchandise King" by Clyde Hendrickson. The Policy Debate Team of Martin and Mattson placed 3rd in the state. Also recognized was Desmond Young '18 for finishing in the quarter-finals of Radio Announcing.
On March 25th-26th, the Speech and Debate Team hosted qualifiers for the Valley Forge District of the National Speech and Debate Association. The Valley Forge District is made up of the Eastern third of the state. To qualify for the National Championship, students have to place in the top two in their respective events.
Patrick Kelly and Jack Reckner qualified in Informative Speaking and Humorous Interpretation, respectively, performing the same selections described above; however, for Nationals, Informative Speaking is 10-minute event. Bill Oxenford and Jack Martin were selected to be members on the districts team for one of the N.S.D.A.'s newest events, World School's Debate. These four students will have the opportunity to represent La Salle at the National Championship June 18-23 in Birmingham, AL.
After a busy March, the team will turn its attention to its final three championships – the Tournament of Champions hosted by the University of Kentucky, N.C.F.L. Grand Nationals, and the N.S.D.A. National Championship.