Maverick Pulse

Filed under News

Recent Debate Tournament Brings Lessons, Gratefulness, and Hope

A-TECH Debaters Reflect on the Results of Big Competition and Immense Prepping at the District-Wide Tournament.

Jefrin+Jojan%2C+Ian+Green%2C+and+Yaseen+Shah+pose+with+a+trophy.
Jefrin Jojan, Ian Green, and Yaseen Shah pose with a trophy.

Jefrin Jojan, Ian Green, and Yaseen Shah pose with a trophy.

Joanna Bieda

Joanna Bieda

Jefrin Jojan, Ian Green, and Yaseen Shah pose with a trophy.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






A-TECH debaters competed at Spring Valley High School for a spot at Nationals on April 5, 6, and 7. The first half of the national qualifying tournament was only for debate, and only the top percentile of debaters would proceed.

The tournament held two rounds on Thursday and Friday and as many as they needed to find out who would go to Nationals on Saturday. Two losses would eliminate debaters.

Slowly, debaters from all schools were being eliminated. A-TECH, at first, had 22 debaters. By Friday, 22 were winnowed down to 16 debaters, the congressional debaters, 4 Lincoln Douglas debates, and 1 Public Forum team, and by Saturday, A-TECH was left with 4 potential national qualifiers, all congressional debaters.

However, with every loss comes a lesson. The Policy debate team of Wyatt Layland and Christopher Hollenbeck were among those that faced 2 defeats and an elimination on Thursday. Layland and Hollenbeck had never stepped foot into the prepped-filled world of Policy debate before, and Thursday brought them more than just the surprise of elimination. The sophomores had been paired against a renowned national qualifier.

“I had believed that by the end of this year, kids such as past national competitors only come along much later down the road, that the chances of hitting the person who will take home the top spot at a tournament are practically nonexistent, especially for a person’s first round ever,” Layland said. “Occurrences like those may very well come along at any moment and with little warning.”

“It allowed me to really re-evaluate how I should go about approaching student competitors who exceed a level of passion and discipline beyond my own. I feel very content with the fact that Ms. Stern trusted me and Chris with the opportunity to compete at such a high-stakes tournament, even though we were just fillers and had zero prior experience in CX debate whatsoever,” Layland said.

It’s not only Layland and his partner, either, who were paired up against tough competitors and learned a lesson. The Public Forum team of freshman Symone Moore and sophomore Ariana Boorboor made it all the way through the second day of the district-wide debate. Only in the fourth round did they face elimination.

Moore said, “I think my partner and I did really well at the tournament. We made it to the second day and we fought really hard.  I’m glad I experienced this level of competition and I can’t wait to do it again next year.”

Making it as far as the second day means wiping out half of the pool of competitors; it’s no easy task. By the second day, the chances of seeing a previous and future national competitor become scarier and more realistic by the second.

For previous national debater Ian Green, however, it was a chance to see familiar faces once more.

“It was interesting that it was only the people I knew, the good LDers. So it was, after the first day, only the varsity people I was friends with.”

In a tournament that brought massive amounts of prepping, Green also did spectacularly, among the other competitors.

Green added, “I felt pretty well about how I did. It was a little more high-stakes, but it was also more relaxed because there were more rounds and there was less stress about the time.”

As for the 4 congressional debaters, the only ones who made it to Day 3 of the tournament, there are high hopes. Those who proceeded to Day 3 of the tournament were, impressively, all sophomores, and were either proceeding to Super Senate or Super House. In Super House, A-TECH was represented by Jefrin Jojan and Sean Im. Super Senate had Yaseen Shah and Nico Villafuerte.

Shah observed that there has only been one formula for his success in Congress, specifically at the Spring Valley High School, saying, “There was certainly a lot of pressure on me, as I knew this might be my last tournament of the year, so I wanted to make it count. The support of my team drove me to find the confidence I needed to try my best.”

Jojan, of Super House, agreed on the success.

“The Congress team as a whole did really good and I believe we do have a strong chance of qualifying to Nationals. Hopefully, we can take all 4 spots.”

Both Shah and Jojan said that they are beyond excited to see what the future holds for not only them, but also for their team.

Jojan, Im, Shah, and Villafuerte will only find out if they have qualified for nationals on Saturday, April 14, at American Preparatory Academy. There, not only will the national qualifiers for debate be recognized, but also the qualifiers for speech. Speech events will be held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

For more information, check here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Contributor
Joanna Bieda, Cub Writer
The largest fan of traveling anywhere possible. Does not get homesick. Tries all the boba and new food her heart desires. Seeking greener pastures.
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Recent Debate Tournament Brings Lessons, Gratefulness, and Hope

    News

    Greenies of Graphic Design

  • Recent Debate Tournament Brings Lessons, Gratefulness, and Hope

    News

    Lights, Camera… Business!

  • Recent Debate Tournament Brings Lessons, Gratefulness, and Hope

    News

    Mid-Autumn Festival

  • Recent Debate Tournament Brings Lessons, Gratefulness, and Hope

    A&E

    The Drought is Finally Over…

  • Recent Debate Tournament Brings Lessons, Gratefulness, and Hope

    News

    Homecoming Is, Well, Coming!

  • News

    Fire Drill Confusion

  • News

    New changes to Legal Studies

  • Recent Debate Tournament Brings Lessons, Gratefulness, and Hope

    News

    Free and Reduced Lunch Applications Open

  • Recent Debate Tournament Brings Lessons, Gratefulness, and Hope

    News

    First NHS Meeting Today

  • Recent Debate Tournament Brings Lessons, Gratefulness, and Hope

    News

    Student Snapshots