Saline's Berwick, Haddas Take First Place at Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association state finals

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In a year that many want to forget and move forward, the Saline Debate Team will fondly remember 2020 because they won state titles and many other awards. The Varsity High School Debate Team, of seniors Abby Berwick and Paige Haddas, took first place in the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association state finals. They debated the resolution that the United States should adopt a declaratory nuclear policy of no first use. Additionally, the Novice High School Congressional Debate Team, specifically first year Sarah Yousif, took first place in the state competition.

Regardless of hybrid or virtual classes, the tournaments were online this season, and the debate team won more than state titles; they won speaker trophies and tournaments, too.

On top in Varsity Public Forum (PF) were Berwick and Haddas who, besides winning state finals, also won the PF West Bloomfield and Pappas debate tournaments and placed second in Holt. Sophomores Reed Recchia and Andrew Strong were PF quarter finalists at Groves High School.

The Novice PF team was also quite strong. Novice PF debaters Neil Sachdeva and Lizzy Sandru placed second in the Open PF tournament at Detroit Country Day and were finalists at the Pappas debate invitational. The dynamic pair of Eva Cueto and Lola O’Connor were PF semi finalists at West Bloomfield, co-champions in Holt, and quarter finalists at Groves High School. And first year students Collin Brophy and Michael Bryant were semi finalists at the Dexter Delite Tournament.

In Congressional Debate where competitors write bills and resolutions and debate them for passage, Saline had a greater presence than ever before. At the varsity level, Ryan Courtney won the Groves High School tournament and came in second at the Pappas and Dexter tournaments. Yousif also placed second in the Varsity Pappas tournament.

At the novice level, besides Yousif’s state tournament title, senior Sydney Dillon won the Pappas tournament and sophomore Andreanna Ulery placed second; Yousif won the Dexter and Groves tournaments; Andreanna placed second in Dexter.

There were high school tournaments proceeding the state finals that began in September and ended in December; the next two tournaments in February and March will qualify debaters in Public Forum and Congressional Debate for the National Speech and Debate Tournament in June in DesMoines, IA. Saline has qualified for Nationals for the last four years.

Debate in Saline comprises two styles, Public Forum and Congressional, and five teams: Saline Middle School, Public Forum; and Saline High School Novice Congressional and Novice Public Forum and Varsity Congressional and Varsity Public Forum. The Saline High School Debate teams are coached by teacher Shelly Venema and assisted by Linda Badri. The high school debate board is led by Paige Haddas, Ryan Courtney, and Angie Ling. The middle school is coached by former Saline debater, and University of Michigan student Mrinalini Iyer.

The complete list of awards can be seen in the chart below - there are too many to list. Congratulations to all!

Debate Season Results 2020-21

Tournaments

Varsity

Novice

  1. Sept. 26 Detroit Country Day

PF Open 2nd place Neil Sachdeva and Lizzy Sandru

  1. October 3 West Bloomfield

PF Varsity Finalist Winners Abby Berwick & Paige Haddas; Varsity Speaker Places: 1st Paige Haddas, Varsity 4th Abby Berwick

Congress: 3rd Fei Wang, 7th Ryan Courtney, 8th Alexandra Ulery, 10th Sydney Dillon

PF Novice Semi Finalists Eva Cueto & Lola O'Connor;

Speaker Places: 3rd Eva Cueto, 5th Lola O’Conner, 8th Mallory Lizotte, 9th Lizzy Sandru;

  1. October 10 Pappas

PF Varsity Finalist Winners Abby Berwick & Paige Haddas

PF Speaker Places: 1st Paige Haddas, 2nd Annabelle Kwon, 4th Eva Cueto, and 5th Maggie Robbins

Congress Varsity 2nd place Ryan Courtney, 5th place Fei Wang, 8th James Ulery, 9th Joshua Ost

PF Novice Finalist Winners Neil Sachdeva and Lizzy Sandru

PF Speaker Places: 2nd Lizzy Sandru, 5th Neil Sachdeva

Congress Novice 1st place Sydney Dillon, 2nd place Andreanna Ulery, 3rd place Sarah Yousif

  1. October 24 Holt

PF Varsity 2nd place Abby Berwick & Paige Haddas

PF Varsity Speaker Places: 7th Paige Haddas, 10th Maggie Robbins

Congress Open 2nd Sarah Yousif, 3rd Ryan Courtney, 8th James Ulery, 10th Joshua Ulery

PF Co-Champions Eva Cueto & Lola O’Connor

PF Speaker Places: 5th Eva Cueto, 6th Lola O’Connor

  1. Nov. 7-8 University of Michigan

PF Speaker Places: 11th (of 91) Angie Ling

PF Speaker Places: 8th Lola O’Connor

  1. Nov. 14 Groves

PF Varsity Quarterfinalists Reed Recchia & Andrew Strong

PF Varsity Speaker Places: 6th Andrew Strong, 8th Anna Healy, 12th Carter Bankowski

Congress Places: 1st Ryan Courtney, 10th Joshua Ost

PF Novice Quarter Finalists Eva Cueto & Lola O’Connor

PF Novice Speaker Places: 9th Lola O’Connor

Congress Places: 1st Sarah Yousif, 3rd Sydney Dillon

  1. Dec. 5 Dexter

PF Speaker Places: 7th Mason Kipley

Congress Places: 2nd Ryan Courtney, 7th Fei Wang, 10th James Ulery

PF Novice Semifinalists Collin Brophy & Michael Bryant

PF Novice Speakers: 14th (of 90) Eva Cueto, 18th Collin Brophy

Congress Places: 1st Sarah Yousif, 2nd Andreanna Ulery, 3rd Alexandra Ulery, 6th Sydney Dillon

  1. Dec. 12 MIFA States

PF State Finalist Winners Abby Berwick & Paige Haddas

PF Varsity Speaker Places: 3rd Paige Haddas, 7th Abby Berwick, 11th (out of 56) Mason Kipley

PF

Congress Places: 1st Sarah Yousif, 3rd Sydney Dillon, 4th Andranna Ulery, 5th Alexandra Ulery

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