For the CM speech and debate team, the Sunvite Tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida served as a test to see where they stood compared to competitors outside of Massachusetts. Based on the results, they are performing better than they could have expected.
Patrick Blomberg ‘24 won two events, nine of the 10 CM competitors made it to at least one semi-final, and seven advanced to a final round as the team returned to Boston with multiple trophies and commendations for their performance.
“I think the entire team did well. This is the best we've ever done at the Sunvite. We have such a strong senior and undergraduate group that we've been able to take with us for these away trips, and it's just been a really great squad operating at the top of their game,” Alex Pappas ‘24 said.
Blomberg took first place in Dramatic Interpretation and Program Oral Interpretation. For his second win, he performed a piece arguing against the death penalty that wasn't crafted until he was on the plane to Florida the day before the competition. He credited assistant coach Ryan Julian ‘18 with the work that helped him produce his winning achievement.
“This is a category I am pretty unfamiliar with. But when I got there, I kind of had everything put together and at that point, it's just doing your job. So I went in there with only the piece on my mind, and thanks for the great coaching of Brother Cavet, Mr. Julian, and Mr. Kandalaft. I was able to comfortably go into every round and just give it my best,” Blomberg said.
Blomberg’s victories saw him best finalists from last year’s national speech and debate championship, allowing the event to also serve as a measuring stick for an expected postseason run featuring the state championship, the National Catholic Forensics League Grand Nationals, and the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament.
“The Sunvite gives you a little sneak peek about who's going to be on the main stage at nationals and who is the real deal. So the fact that we had nine out of 10 of our kids make semis says a lot about us and the future we have in store for us,” Blomberg said.
Pappas and Chris Boensel ‘24 took second place in duos with a piece from the 2014 psychological thriller Whiplash about an aspiring musician and his abusive instructor. The team, now in their second year together, has been on a tear, finishing no worse than third in all nine of their competitions this year.
“We're operating the best we have in our past two years, it all just builds upon each other. I think that because we've been doing this for so long, we're able to coordinate, work together, and put on a good performance,” Pappas said.
The team of Brendan Jolley ‘24 and Owen Galvin ‘24 also placed third in Duos.
In the solo events, Samson Persson ‘24 and Boensel ‘24 placed second and fourth in Humorous Speaking and James Linehan '24 took sixth in Impromptu Speaking.
The team returns to competition at the Keith West Memorial Tournament at Boston Latin on January 20 and the Ridge Invitational in New Jersey from January 26 to 28.