After a dominant performance at the Florida Forensics League Region 6 Tournament, four members of the Cardinal Gibbons Speech and Debate Team have qualified to compete at the FFL Varsity State Tournament, which will be held on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 at West Broward High School.
Sophomore duo Carson Marcil and Kelly Clark qualified in Public Forum Debate, while sophomore Zach Dumas and junior Mackenzie Alberts qualified individually for Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Dramatic Interpretation, respectively. Each student placed in the top 10 in their respective events at the Region 6 Tournament on Saturday Feb. 2 in order to qualify.
Speech and Debate moderator Mr. Luiz Bravim was impressed with the talent and dedication each student has displayed throughout the season. He said, “[They all] put in tremendous effort over the season to make it to states. Their talent speaks for itself.” He continued, “They gave up countless weekends competing early in the morning until 8:00 or 9:00 at night. We have a grueling schedule, but it paid off. We could not be any prouder.”
Despite their ages, all four qualifiers have been no strangers to success throughout their short high school speech and debate careers. Last year, Dumas placed second overall at a Broward County tournament in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, while Marcil and Clark were quarterfinalists in Public Forum Debate at Blue Key, a national tournament hosted by the University of Florida each year. Most recently, Alberts finished third overall in Dramatic Performance at a local South Florida Catholic Forensic League competition in December of 2018.
According to Bravim, the FFL Varsity State Tournament is one of the most prestigious tournaments that the team has qualified for in the past five years, and he is thrilled to have so many of the team’s younger members invited to compete. He expressed his excitement for the future of the Speech and Debate program at Cardinal Gibbons, saying, “…our program will only get stronger over the next couple of years.”