Speech and Debate Earns Top National Award

Louisville, Kentucky – Let the record show that as far as speech and debate programs go, it doesn’t get much better than Catholic Memorial.

At the National Catholic Forensics League Grand Final in Louisville, Kentucky during Memorial Day weekend, the school received the Founders Award of Excellence for Speech. The award is given to the five top schools that participate in the NCFL.

“The award means that we’re in the top 1 percent of Catholic high school speech teams. We’re pretty content with that,” Coach Br. Anthony Cavet said of the award.

The award wasn’t the only hardware the team brought home. In Duos, two CM teams placed in the top five. The team of Pat Blomberg ‘24 and Will Cummings ‘23 finished in second place and the duo of Chris Boensel ‘24 and Alex Pappas ‘24 took fifth.

For Blomberg and Cummings, the performance continues a successful season that saw them finish among the top spots at several competitions and earn a state championship. 

“To be in second place, top three in the nation is something you strive for. I’m blessed to be in that position to compete for a top spot,” Blomberg said.

The fifth-place finish for Boensel and Pappas exceeded all expectations the juniors had. With each announcement that they made the cut came the surprise that they were able to hold their own against the top teams in the country.

“Every time we found out we were going on the next round, Alex and I looked at each other incredulously. Each round was so tight that we felt lucky to be even competing,” Boensel said.

Also competing at Nationals were Donavan Burke ‘26 (Declamation), Johnny Cardarelli ‘23 (Dramatic Performance), Owen Crowley ’25 (Declamation), Joe Cutting ‘23 (Extemporaneous), Sam Gonser ‘24 (Student Congress), Brendan Jolly ‘24 (Oratory), Jack Judge ‘25 (Extemporaneous). Parker Kempf ‘26 (Declamation), and Samson Persson ‘24 (Oral Interpretation).

Cardarelli, Cutting, Gonser, and the teams of Blomberg and Cummings, and Boensel and Pappas will all compete one last time this school year at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona from June 11-16.

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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.