“1AC, 1NC, 2AC, 2NC.” “Income Inequality is on the rise and no one seems to notice or care.” We have all heard these phrases in our Freshman Rhetoric & Civics class. However, our nationally recognized Jesuit Debate Team takes debating to a whole other level and continues to impress us with seemingly endless success. Below is a recap of the Jesuit Debate Team’s performance and achievements from the first semester to the current day. 

Grapevine (9/12-9/14; Grapevine, TX; 94 teams)

Jesuit debate started off strong this season by sending senior team Jack Martin ‘21 and Joshua Ramos ‘21, senior-junior team Justin Burns ‘21 and Aarin Jain ‘22, and senior-sophomore team Nick Badovinus ‘21 and Dominic Chacko ‘23 to the Grapevine Classic in Grapevine, Texas from September 12th to September 14th. They squared off against 94 other teams, breaking within the top 32 teams, debating in the double octofinals. Unfortunately, all three teams were eliminated in the double octofinals. Ramos and Martin, losing to South Dakotan SF Roosevelt in a tough 3-0 decision. Burns and Jain lost to top-seeded Reagan Highschool from San Antonio, in another tough 3-0 decision. Despite heading home earlier, both teams got 1 point closer to a state qualification.

Junior varsity competitors, sophomore team Tejas Murugesh ‘23 and Jon Noquil ‘23 debated against other junior varsity teams from the region. They debated teams Okemos High School (Michigan) and SLC West High School (Utah). They also debated Kinkaid (Houston) and Hebron (Dallas) from Texas. After 5 intense rounds, they made it into the elimination rounds as the 5th seed out of the 26 teams in the competition, unfortunately losing in a tough loss to the 4th seeded Oregon Episcopal School, leaving with a 5th place finish.

The Bear Cat Swing (9/25-9/26; Houston, TX; 17 teams)

Continuing with this momentum, Jesuit debate “sent” two teams to the Bear Cat Swing in Houston, Texas, senior team Martin ‘21 and Ramos ‘21 and junior-senior team Burns ‘21 and Jain ‘22. Competing against teams around the Houston area in four rounds, both teams entered the elimination rounds strong, earning first and second seed, respectively. Burns ‘21 and Jain ‘22 won 3-0 against Houston Memorial in the quarter-finals but lost to a close 2-1 decision to Elkins in the semi-finals, but now halfway to earning a state qualification. Martin ‘21 and Ramos ‘21, on the other side of the bracket, grinded their way through the elimination rounds, winning 3-0 decisions against Langham Creek, Westside, and Elkins, achieving the first online tournament win for Jesuit debate and putting them 1 point away from a state qualification. Both Jain ‘22 and Burns ‘21 were recognized as the 6th and 5th speakers out of 34 debaters.

Newman Smith (9/25-9/26; Newman Smith HS; )

On the same weekend of the Bear Cat Swing, Jesuit debate also debated at Newman Smith highschool, sending senior team Gabriel Skariah ‘21 and Ethan Williams ‘21, senior sophomore team Badovinus ‘21 and Chacko ‘23, sophomore team Grayson Gaither ‘23 and Lawrence Jin ‘23, sophomore team Murugesh ‘23 and Noquil ‘23, and sophomore team Dev Amudula ‘23 and Varun Ratnasabapathy ‘23. After 4 rounds, Jesuit secured 3 of the top 4 seeds, with Badovinus ‘21 and Chacko ‘23 receiving 1st seed, Skariah ‘21 and Williams ‘21 receiving 2nd seed, and Murugesh and Noquil ‘23 receiving 4th seed. After defeating Greenhill in a 3-0 decision, Jesuit secured another online debate tournament win and the first closeout and online closeout of the season, with all three teams in the prelims receiving state points, getting closer to a state qualification. Jesuit debaters 3 of the top 5 speakers, with Badovinus ‘21 recognized as the first speaker of 20, Chacko ‘23 as the second, and Noquil ‘23 as the fourth, with Ratnasabapathy ‘23 barely receiving 5th speaker by 0.1 points.

Sophomores compete at Lovejoy Invitational and earn top 5 finish.  (10/1-10/2)

Going into the first week of October, the debate team sent sophomore teams Murugesh ‘23 and Noquil ‘23, Chance Harris ‘23 and Ratnasabapathy ‘23, and Gaither ‘23 and Jin ‘23 to Lovejoy to claim more state points. After 3 intense preliminary rounds, Murugesh ‘23 and Noquil ‘23 seeded 8th, making it into the top 8 for the elimination bracket, unfortunately losing to top-seeded Westwood, ending in 5th place adding 2 more points to their quest for state qualification. Gaither ‘23 was recognized among the top 10 best speakers.

Heritage Hall (10/16-10/18; Oklahoma, 72 teams)

Continuing with that success early on, Jesuit debate sent two senior teams Martin ‘21 and Ramos ‘21, and Skariah ‘21 and Williams ‘21 to compete at the JW Patterson Invitational in Oklahoma from October 16 to October 18, debating against teams from around the country. After 2 days of arduous debates, both teams qualified for the elimination rounds, with Martin ‘21 and Ramos ‘21 receiving the 10th seed and Skariah ‘21 and Williams ‘21 receiving the 23rd seed. Unfortunately, this led to both teams being matched up with each other in the elimination rounds, with higher-seeded Martin ‘21 and Ramos ‘21 coming out on top. In the octofinals, the seniors debated against SF Roosevelt again, losing in a closer 2-1 decision, ending in 17th place out of 72 teams. Martin ‘21 was recognized as the 18th speaker out of 144 debaters.

Plano West (10/23-10/25; 25 teams)

From October 23rd to 25th, Jesuit debate sent 4 teams to debate at the Plano West Wolf Classic to debate against other teams around the city to gain state points and qualify for the state tournament. After 4 preliminary rounds, senior team Martin ‘21 and Ramos ‘21 and senior-sophomore team Badovinus ‘21 and Chacko ‘21 both made it into the elimination bracket, receiving 5th and 6th seed respectively. Entering the quarter-finals, both teams debated against teams from Coppell High School and Greenhill. Unfortunately, Badovinus ‘21 and Chacko ‘21 lost in a tough debate against higher seed Greenhill, finishing 5th. Martin ‘21 and Ramos ‘21 won their quarter-finals debate against Coppell and their semi-finals debate against Greenhill, debating in an unusually timed final round on Monday evening. Unfortunately, the senior team lost to Greenhill in a tough 3-0 decision, earning 2nd place. However, thanks to the high placement of the senior team, Martin ‘21 and Ramos ‘21 become the first Jesuit team to qualify to the state tournament in March while Badovinus ‘21 and Chacko ‘23 end with just 2 points away from a qualification. Jin ‘23 was recognized within the top 10 speakers out of the 50 debaters

UNT (10/30-10/31; 10 teams)

Rounding out October, Jesuit debate sent 5 teams to compete at the UNT John S. Gossett Memorial High School from October 30 to October 31. After 3 rounds, Jesuit filled out 4 of the 5 top 5 spots in the elimination rounds ranked from Jain ‘22 and Burns ‘21, Jin ‘23 and Ratnasabapathy ‘23, Skariah ‘21, and Williams ‘21, and Noquil ‘23 and Murugesh ‘23 in descending order. In the semi-finals, Skariah ‘21 and Williams ‘21 debated against top-seeded Colleyville, winning on a close 2-1 decision, securing first and second place for Jesuit, and closing out the tournament. With Burns ‘21 and Jain ‘21 winning the tournament, they became the second team to qualify for the state tournament. Jin ‘23 and Ratnasabapathy ‘23 both were recognized within the top 5 speakers, receiving 5th and 4th speakers respectively, with Williams ‘21 closely missing 5th by 0.1 points.

In the Novice division, Jesuit sent 3 freshman teams to compete. After 3 rounds, freshman team Kyle Ma ‘24 and Peter Loh ‘24 became the 2nd seed after winning all 3 rounds, qualifying for the elimination rounds. In the elimination bracket, Ma ‘24 and Loh ‘24 debated against Coppell, winning in a 3-0 decision, making it into the finals. Unfortunately, the freshman team lost to top-seeded Westwood in a close 2-1 decision. The freshman team placed second at the UNT tournament. Both Ma’ 24 and Loh ‘24 were recognized among the top 5 speakers, earning 2nd and 5th speakers respectively.

Hockaday (11/6-11/7; 20 teams)

In November, Jesuit sent 6 teams to the Ed Long Invitational at the Hockaday School from November 6 to November 7. After 4 preliminary rounds, senior team Jain ‘22 and Burns ‘21 received a second seed. Later, senior-sophomore team Badovinus ‘21 and Chacko ‘23 received 6th seed. Both teams made it into the elimination rounds. In the quarter-finals, Badovinus ‘21 and Chacko ‘23 lost to higher-seeded Winston Churchill in a 3-0 decision. Jain ‘22 and Burns ‘21 won with a 2-1 decision against Greenhill. Unfortunately, they lost to that same Winston Churchill team in a 3-0 decision. By virtue of making it into the elimination rounds, Badovinus ‘21 and Chacko ‘23 became the third Jesuit team to qualify for the state tournament. Both Jain ‘22 and Burns ‘21 were recognized among the top 10 speakers, receiving 4th and 7th speakers respectively.

Stay tuned to The Roundup for more debate updates!