WUDL Students Kick off Competitive Season at Georgetown Day School Invitational

Students weren't staking out corners of the amphitheater. Judy and Jon weren't serving pizza and providing excellent hospitality, and we didn't get to see the new building in action.

Yet the well run, high quality tournament that we love and expect from our neighbors at GDS went on, virtually, for a second year to kick off our competitive season. As schools sort out a return to in-person education, tournaments remain virtual for the time being, as the safety of our students remains a top priority.

I'd like to shout out WUDL Coaches and Volunteers (in no particular order) for all of their help and support this weekend, serving as judges and pre round coaches for our squad:

Jess Berenson (A GDS alum), Eric Clarke, Cesar Fortuna, Danielle Dupree, and Sam Haley-Hill. I'd like to give a special shout out to Dennis Martinez and Sania Habib for their first time judging and coaching post-graduation. Both are incredible assets to the community and are coaching this year.

One of the biggest takeaways from this tournament is that the conversations students had about racial injustice on last year's criminal justice topic aren't stopping just because the topic changed. Many affirmative case I judged and many we prepared for all centered around questions of inequality, anti-blackness, and/or settlerism. We're in for some very intriguing conversations as the year goes forward.

Our participants all had great tournaments, even though it was the first step onto the national stage for many. While the wins weren't always there, the process each team showed was very encouraging. My old coach always used to say, "Don't lose the same way twice," and our students have taken that to heart, refining, adjusting, and learning from each round. Every team won at least two rounds, even our little 7th grade team from Montgomery Village!

Some shout outs:

  • Zara was the 14th speaker, and with partner Lucy, were very close to breaking to elimination rounds.

  • Sophomores Jener and Akesh, who have never been in Varsity at a regional tournament before, had a 3-3 record, refining their case as they went and winning their last three rounds.

  • Freshmen Madison and Tatum brought Banneker High School back to the regional circuit, including defeating a tough team from Mamaroneck in round 6. They've never been to a regional tournament before (and had one tournament of local Varsity under their belts beforehand).

  • Emmanuel and Nathaniel had some tough draws, but were the most studious preparing for this competition. While it didn't pan out in the win/loss column this time, their process is highly encouraging for the coming season, we expect great things!

  • Despite being several years younger than their competition, our Middle School Nationals Octo-Finalists from Montgomery Village bravely entered the Varsity only tournament anyway. We are so proud of their pluck and mature approach to a challenging tournament.

  • Letitia didn't go to a fancy camp last year, but stepped up in a big way this weekend, jumping into Regional Varsity competition despite not having previous ever attended a travel tournament.

  • Not from the GDS tournament, but congrats to WUDL alumna/coach and current GDS debater Addie Lowenstein for getting her first TOC bid (of the season) at Greenhill earlier this month. We are rooting for you!

Join us Oct. 16th for the first local tournament of the year, volunteer signup is now available on our website. Can't volunteer? Become a donor today and support our students with a re-occurring gift that can sustain our great work.

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