Speech and Debate Team Sets Records With Holly Festival Win

Natick, Mass. — For 36 years, the Catholic Memorial Speech and Debate team has collected many trophies at the Natick Holly Festival, but the team title always seemed to evade them. In the 37th year, not only did they take first, but they had the best team performance in event history.

Led by a school-record three-gold medal performance by Will Cummings ‘23, the team, with team members of the past cheering them on, captured first place and broke the meet record for the highest team score. CM improved to 3-0 for in-state competitions.

“We’ve never been able to get it done so to do it for the first time, especially, in front of all the alumni who were there to help us while on winter break, is really special,” said Cummings. “This was the missing piece for our goal to not just win states but to go undefeated.”

Cummings’ hectic day of running from competition to competition was highlighted by his varsity debut in Extemporaneous Speaking. The first-place finish in the category was part of a performance that included top rankings in Duos with Pat Blomberg ‘24 and Prose. 

Also finishing at the top of their categories were Colin Bligh '23 in Radio, Blomberg in Dramatic Performance, Jack Judge '25 in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking, and Johnny Cardarelli '23, in Children's Literature.

Cardarelli led a top-three sweep in Children’s Literature, with Samson Persson '24 and Will Masferrer '23 waking away with second and third. He also finished second in Dramatic Performance and third in Radio.

Other top finishes included Joseph Cutting '23 (second in Broadcast Editorial and third in Extemporaneous Speaking), Graham Horowitz '25 (third in Declamation), the team of Chris Boensel '24 and Alex Pappas '24 (second in Duos), and Aaron Crowley '23 (third in Play Reading).

The team’s next competition is the Newton South Winter Festival on January 7.

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CM prepares students for the rigors of college and beyond. While here, boys embark on service-learning opportunities, leadership development, and character formation programs inspiring them to become confident, courageous young men motivated to do good in the world. 

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Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, prepares boys for college, manhood and a world full of unknown challenges, ambiguity and complex problems and the importance of relationships.