The Sierra Canyon Debate Team won the High School Public Debate Program (HSPDP) National Championship, and to Gary ‘22, Bodhi ‘23, and captain Abdullah ‘21 for won the final championship round!
With over 45 teams and 155 debaters from across the country, this is an outstanding achievement for the debate program. In addition, SC faced and defeated a perennial New York powerhouse school that had won three of the last four championships.
Coached by Jake Meany, all three teams--comprising Sierra Canyon students advanced to the national championship after months of regional and national tournaments, topic-based research, and extensive practicing. Coach Meany has rebuilt the program to focus on parliamentary debate, which is the forum relevant to college formatting and skills.
The championship consisted of single-elimination featuring five separate topics, three of which the teams prepared beforehand, and two impromptu topics with only twenty minutes of preparation: “Abolish the CIA,” “Impose term limits on U.S. Congress,” “United Nations monitors should oversee U.S. general elections,” “Police should be required to live in the communities they serve,” and “This House believes cancel culture does more good than harm.”
The championship was a noteworthy way to end a triumphant season, filled with multiple victories from numerous international- and national-level tournaments and several top speaker awards at HSPDP tournaments.
Abdullah ’21 happily reflected: “Beyond repeated competitive success, team members credit their experience with debate to increased academic success, far greater participation in public advocacy, leadership positions in extracurricular activities, and the strengthening of their interpersonal communication skills. As I now approach the end of my high school Speech and Debate experience, I can say with certainty that I would not exchange my experience for the world. Not only has it helped prepare me for the academic rigors of college, but it has also created a space for me to meet life-long friends and create unforgettable memories.”
While the 2020-2021 season may be coming to an end, Coach Meany has BIG plans for subsequent years. Coach has created the first-ever North American parliamentary league and has entered Sierra Canyon into international tournaments, something never done before, with great opportunities to expand in the future and be a part of an international league next year.