Washington Urban Debate Season Continues at Capital City

New teams debuting, lots of observers, more than 100 teams participating....what more can you ask for during an early season tournament?

October 27th was the first "all team" tournament, as most of Prince George's County made their formal debut. This tournament had tremendous novice turnout, with more than 200 novices attending Debate 101 Workshops. As an early tournament, we provide these workshops to make our early tournaments especially novice friendly. If we can help more students get up to speed and catch the debate bug, the better!

A big shout out to all of our wonderful volunteers who stepped up to teach these workshops: Matt Rose, Aaron Torop, Monica Hanratty, Jon Alfuth, David Siedman, Sierra Wood, Nate Salminen, Jonathan Gonzalez, David Leo, Darrian Carroll and Guillermo Vidaurre.

This tournament featured an array of special events: Our Halloween Costume Contest (won by Zingwa Alem and Katrina Tracy), and a visit from Georgetown University's Brandon Kelley, who spoke about the benefits of debate in college, and shared his story of growing up in a small corner of western Texas.

This tournament offered a previous of who the teams to beat are in the Varsity Division, with DuVal's Ernest Ntangu and Jonathan Collins going undefeated and winning the Division, and Bowie's Kevin Tezi and Munyang Tengen got 2nd. Ernest and Kevin went to nationals last season, and both have designs on returning to the tournament. DC International's Lola Rogin was the Top Speaker in Varsity, in her second Varsity tournament ever.

In JV, Brandon Souverain and Maxwell Burton went undefeated and won the division again, writing themselves a 1 way ticket to Varsity. Similarly, Kenmoor's Asha Verma and Isatou Jawara and Maya Cleveland and Aisha Bah proved themselves ready for a greater challenge.

In Novice, Rophy Paul and Nellsie Harris took 1st place, and Nellsie was the Top Speaker, while lots of teams from Kenmoor and Hardy followed them. I suspect most will advance to Junior Varsity in November.

Notable appearances:

  • Thurgood Marshall made their long awaited debut, going 2-1

  • Suitland and Samuel Ogle made their debuts after a year long hiatus, both with multiple teams winning multiple rounds

  • DC Prep also made their season debut, with Dylan Denney winning a speaker award in his first tournament.

  • Fredrick Douglass wasn't very active last season, but put themselves on the map with two trophies.

  • Northwestern had a brand new team debut in JV, and went 2-2.

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