Debate team meets with early success


Members of the debate team pose for a group shot after the Northbrook TFA Invitational tournament. Left to right: senior Luis Espinoza, junior Daniel Ghaisariee, sophomore Lindsey Li, senior Zachary Kerls, junior Chadi Cherradi. Espinoza and Li recieved trophies for placing highly in their respective events.

Trevor Nichols, News Editor

Students on the debate team competed in the Alief Elsik TFA Invitational tournament on Friday, September 21, and Saturday, September 22. During the tournament, senior Luis Espinoza earned enough state points to qualify for State competition.

“I expect the team to qualify more members for state than we did in previous years,” Debate team captain senior Zachary Kerls said. “We’re aiming for qualifying four of five people.”

At the Alief tournament, sophomore Lindsey Li placed third in Varsity Lincoln Douglas debate. Junior Chadi Cherradi placed fifth in a Student Congress finals round. Sophomore James Dial placed fifth in Novice Lincoln Douglas debate. Sophomore Travis Boyd and senior Ashton Barratt reached semifinals in Impromptu Speaking. Espinoza reached semifinals in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, and placed third in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking, qualifying him for state competition. Espinoza and Kerls also competed in Public Forum Debate. Junior Daniel Ghaisariee also competed in Varsity Lincoln Douglas Debate, while sophomore Aaron Higdon and freshman Cameron Richards competed in Public Forum Debate.

“I am very proud to have qualified to state in just two tournaments,” senior Luis Espinoza said. “Only nine total people pulled it off, me being one of them, so it’s a really great honor.”

Previously, the debate team had competed at the Northbrook TFA Invitational tournament on September 7 and 8. In this tournament, Li placed third in varsity Lincoln Douglas debate. Cherradi placed twelfth in Student Congress. Kerls and Espinoza advanced to octofinals in Public Forum debate, and Espinoza also placed third in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking. Ghaisariee, Boyd, Barratt, junior Kimia Hashemi-Nejad, and junior Ida Tehrani all also competed in the tournament but did not place in their events.

“We’re going to do well in the tournaments this year because this is the year that we have a team,” debate team sponsor Rita Perry said. “We really understand the team concept.”

In light of its recent successes in early competitions, the team remains optimistic in its expectations for future competitions this year.

“We also expect to qualify more people to UIL regionals and hopefully to UIL state competitions,” Kerls said. “And we hope to qualify to the National Forensics League’s national tournament next June.”