Novice debaters compete at West Orange

Maddison Garr, Business Manager

On Saturday, Feb. 7, the novice debaters competed in West Orange debate tournament. Novice debaters, students who are participating in their first year of debate team competitions, were exclusively invited to the tournament to develop their skills and prepare them for future years of debating. Because of this, the tournament did not have as many participants and had fewer awards, which did little to stop the success of the team.

For sophomore Zach Bolotte, this was his sixth debate tournament and he was named best Presiding Officer for Congress.

“I felt like I did really well, it was one of my favorite tournaments because the topics were really relevant and controversial,” Bolotte said.

Many other debaters placed including Juliana Voelker, who earned second place in Declamation, Ashlyn Mecabe, who took fourth in Original Oratory, and Aidan Ryan, who received third in Extemporaneous Speaking.

“I think that the Hagerty coaches have taught me to be a strong debater and that showed in my performance this weekend,” Mecabe said.

The coaches, English teachers Julie Love and Samantha Richardson practice with individual debaters every week, and work hard to develop team camaraderie through constructive criticism and group improvement.

“I am really proud of our novice debaters and all they have accomplished,” Love said. “The team is proud of all of them and all their hard work, it is great to see that it all paid off.”

The novice debaters look forward to their next tournament at Lake Mary on Saturday, Feb. 21.