Speech and Debate Wins Bids to ToC

In Dec., the public forum team of Seniors Jonathon Ngo and Pranay Patni earned a bid at the 43rd annual Winter Classic at La Costa Canyan High School, and in early Jan. Senior Rakshit Garg, a Lincoln Douglas debater, also earned a bid at the University of Puget Sound’s invitational, Garg said. On Jan. 25 and Jan. 26, the Milpitas High School Debate team hosted the 4th annual debate tournament, Garg added.

The Debate team usually rents out the MHS campus as a venue in the National Forensics League for the debate tournament, and sells concessions during the tournament in order to fundraise money for travelling expenses, Senior Vikram Sastry said. The debate team usually makes around $12,000 dollars in gross income, but after reimbursements are finalized, the team ends up with $5,000 profit, Sastry said. The tournament is one of the biggest ones in the Bay Area, and last year there were not enough rooms to hold all of the debate rounds, Sastry added.

At the two-day long University of Puget Sound’s Invitational in Washington, Garg competed against 70 other Lincoln Douglas debaters and made it to the semifinals along with the other three qualifying debaters there, Garg said. During the semifinals, Garg lost to a debater from Brentwood, which is a private school in L.A., Garg added. All the debaters that get to the semifinals earn a bid to the Tournament of Champions, Garg said. To actually get into the Tournament of Champions, a debater needs to earn two bids before the tournament and Garg currently only has one, Garg added.

On Dec. 8, Ngo and Patni went to La Costa Canyan High School in San Diego and earned a bid to the Tournament of Champions during semifinals, which is comprised of only the top four teams out of the estimated 60 teams there, Ngo said. The topic at the 43rd annual Winter Classic La Costa Canyan High School Tournament was that immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States, Ngo added. The Tournament of Champions is held in Lexington, Kentucky and each team needs two bids to compete in it, Ngo said.

“Every bid is a huge accomplishment. A very small percentage of high school debaters can actually get one. It’s every debater’s dream to go to the Tournament of Champions,” Ngo said. “Even if we don’t get two bids, there’s still a chance Pranay and I could go to the tournament if our record is good enough.”

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