Pauls, Wilson, Patel lead debate team in tournaments

Kelsye White, Staff Reporter

The debate team is dedicated and growing.

Matt Bohnenkamp, the head coach, said “Our presidents, Varika Pinnam, Twinkle Patel, and Layan Safi have done a great job of being leaders on the team and helping the new members of the team. On Thursday mornings, they’ve often gotten together to practice and discuss bills on their own without the coaches.”

The debate team has many strong debaters such as juniors Pinnam, Safi, Safia Hattab, Patel, and Ray Solorzano who all placed at many tournaments last year, and could also do well this year.

The season is going well for the debate team. At their most recent tournament at home, Elk Grove placed 9th out of 27 teams. The top 8 students had the highest point total of the year with 18.65. Mike Pauls received first place for the PO. awards.

New to debate, Christian Janick was the seventh highest point scorer. Mohammed Ahmed gave five speeches throughout the tournament, and was the fifth highest point-getter for Elk Grove. Layan Safi shattered her own personal record by an astonishing amount. Overall, most of the competitors scored highly, allowing Elk Grove to take a high place. At their first tournament at Fremd, the debate team placed 11th out of 27 teams.

At their tournament at Schaumburg, they placed 12th out of 29 team. Junior Mike Pauls and junior Ray Solorzano won 3rd place for legislation. Pauls has already shown what he’s capable of, being the best overall speaker of their first tournament.

Pinnam was nominated for best speaker in her chamber. Senior, Zach Wilson is a new member to the team as well as a strong debater.

Wilson received a 1st place Speaker award from the tournament at Schaumburg. Wilson also finished 1st place in his chamber.

Sophomore Omar Roman has improved a lot from last year as well, according to Matt Bohnenkamp.