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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Screamin’ Eagles, SoCal Debate League Champions for 22nd year

    By Brittany Snow

    Staff Writer

      Winning the Southern California Debate League Championship for the 22nd year in a row, the Gabrielino Screamin’ Eagles Speech and Debate Team have advanced to the State Championships in May. With this upcoming tournament, the team looks to build on the legacy they have maintained for years.

      “It was a tough beginning of the year, but the team came through when it really mattered,” stated Coach Derek Yuill. “I’m really proud of my kids, and [I’m] really looking forward to the State Championships.”

      The team competed in the State Qualifying Tournament at California State University, Long Beach on March 1. Alhambra High School, Long Beach Polytechnic, and 16 other schools including Gabrielino competed in the tournament.

      “[The tournament] is super interesting in the sense that everything is so unpredictable for everyone involved,” stated Dramatic Interpretation and Original Oratory participant, Samantha Tang, senior.

      The tournament consisted of six rounds for 12 events. The top seven from semi-finals moved on to the final round with each person receiving a rank in the end.

      The Eagles placed in 10 of the 12 events, taking first place in three categories.

      Freshmen Alex Lai and Geraldine Ly won in Duo Interpretation. Junior Sarah Vuong placed first in Expository.

      With a separation of seven points, Captain Stephanie Rubio, senior, placed second in Expository. In Thematic Interpretation, junior Raquel Chavez placed first, while freshman Melanie Hsiang placed second.

      “My biggest mission when performing was to convey my message and give a voice to the voiceless,” stated Rubio. “I am proud to say that I walked out of my rounds giving it all I had and with no regrets.”

      (Full Disclosure: Rubio is a member of the Tongva Times staff.)

      For many students, the State Qualifiers was the last time they would perform their speeches for rest of the school year.

      “It didn’t hit me that I was at [the State Qualifiers] until mid-tournament,” stated freshman Megan Chan. “After everything was over, I felt relieved and accomplished.”

     Chan placed fourth in Oratorical Interpretation and will be joining her teammates at the State Championship tournament in May.

      This year, the team experienced a dramatic drop in the senior class, with only nine students participating in the tournament compared to last year’s class of 50. They were able to make up for the change by enlisting novices in early tournaments to give them more experience, resulting in more qualifying beginners than in previous years.

      “[Gabrielino’s Speech and Debate Team] definitely relies not only on performance, but also how we present ourselves outside of the rounds,” stated Annica Wu, sophomore. “This tournament really represented the spirit of the team.”


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    Screamin’ Eagles, SoCal Debate League Champions for 22nd year