Speech and Debate Team Finds Success at Nationals

The six-time state champion speech and debate team ended the last competition of the season the same way they’ve ended every competition this year – with trophies.

The team sent seven competitors to June’s National Speech and Debate National Championship in Phoenix, Arizona and came back with a semi-finalist, a quarterfinalist, and two octafinalists.

“I was very happy with how they did. There were 4,000 kids from every state in the union plus Taiwan and Singapore. It's the biggest high school academic competition in the country,” team coach Br. Anthony Cavet said. 

Chris Boensel ‘24 led the way with a semi-final appearance in Storytelling. He was one of three CM students to compete in the event, with Johnny Cardarelli ‘23 and Alex Pappas ‘24 advancing to the octafinals.

Will Cummings ‘23 became the first CM student to receive an award for qualifying for Nationals for four straight years. Along with Patrick Blomberg ‘24, he advanced to the quarterfinals of the Duos category. The placement solidified the duo’s place in team history. 

“They are the greatest duo in school history. They plowed through a considerable bout of illness, so I couldn’t have asked for any more from them.

All season, Blomberg and Cummings performed a piece about drunk driving called “Drive!” written by Johnny Esposito ‘18. The performance won them several awards including a state championship and a second-place finish at the National Catholic Forensics League Grand Nationals.

Sam Gonser ‘24 participated in Congress and In Extemp Debate while Joe Cutting ‘23 also took part in Extemp Debate. According to Cavet, Cutting’s performance was CM’s best performance in a debate category in nine years.

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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.