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The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

Speech and Debate Team reflects on a triumphant showing at the state tournament

Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s Speech and Debate team competed at the state tournament at Hunterdon Central  Regional High School on March 15 and 16. This was the final official tournament for the team and the conclusion to the entire season spanning over multiple months.

For many debaters, this was the pinnacle of their debate career so far.

The tournament was split across two days at Hunterdon Central.

The Bridgewater-Raritan Speech and Debate team left the high school around 2:30 p.m. on Friday and arrived in Flemington for  rounds of debate that were scheduled for that  evening.

The session began at  5 p.m. and the last ended at around 8:45 p.m. 

On the second day, the remaining preliminary rounds and out rounds were scheduled. The first round began shortly past 8  a.m., with four total debate rounds occurring across the morning with breaks in between. Speech events occurred throughout, following a different schedule.

After all the preliminary rounds were over, debaters were ranked based on their records and the respective teams advanced to the quarterfinals, beginning in the afternoon.

In congressional debate, Roshan Dave claimed a state championship, Prisha Bagul was a finalist and Abhijay Edavalapati, Veda Viswanath and Anshita Jaiswal placed as semifinalists. In the Speech category, Ridhi Pothu was a semifinalist in Original Oratory.

In Public Forum debate, Om Shah and Rithvik Krish placed second in novice, Esha Bande and Gayatri Krishnan placed in the novice quarterfinalists, Ishaan Shetty and Anton Fomin placed in the novice quarterfinalists and Anik Shah and Marko Gvozdenovic placed in the junior varsity quarterfinalists. 

In Lincoln-Douglas debate, Arnav Dham and Andrei Cojocariu placed highly in the competition, becoming a novice quarterfinalist and a varsity semifinalist, respectively. In parliamentary debate, Advay Pandit and Maisam Tejani finished in second place overall, while Amey Paranjpe and Dev Patel reached the quarterfinal round.

For Andrei Cojocariu and Maisam Tejani, this state tournament was the final tournament where they would compete with Bridgewater-Raritan Forensics. Cojocariu, the president of the club, took a look back on the school year as a whole.

“It’s been a joy to watch the team grow, find success and support each other this season. Just seeing members going out there and having fun reminded me of the positive impact debate can have,” he said.

Tejani, one of the captains of Varsity Public Forum, reflected on his experience with the team during his high school debate career.

“Never did we imagine our team would get to the point where we had several people placing across all events every single tournament, and states was a true representation of that,” he said.

Expanding on the importance of debate, Tejani described his perspective on the work associated with the activity itself.

“Forensics to me is more than just a way to debate about politics, economics, etc. I learned that hard work does in fact pay off, and if you want to really see positive outcomes, the first step is a dedication to whatever you wish to succeed in,” he said.

The state tournament was a culmination of months of work for some debaters and years for others. It was an opportunity to test one’s skills and compete against some of the best debaters in New Jersey.

The team recently sent a select group of students to the districts tournament on Saturday, March 23. Those who qualified for the national tournament will continue to compete in the coming months. 

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About the Contributor
Paritosh Bhole
Paritosh Bhole, Associate Editor
Paritosh Bhole is a sophomore at BRHS, and it is his second year being a part of The Prowler. He has been a part of previous school newspapers; he has always enjoyed journalism and being in touch with the school community. To him, writing is one of the most impactful ways of expressing ideas and emotions--BR is full of countless journalism opportunities. Away from writing, Paritosh spends his time playing the cello, playing basketball, and reading leisurely.
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