Speech and Debate members make it to state championships

On Apr. 24, 2021 for the first time in San Marin history, senior and Co-President Trevor Fox and senior Pranav Pannala competed in the California Highschool Speech Association State Championships. After competing in four rounds of the competition for a consecutive twelve hours, Fox and Pannala won a total of five out of the possible eight votes but did not move on to the octofinals. 

In order to compete in state finals, debaters needed to compete and place at the following tournaments: at the Regional Tournament, they needed a winning record of at least two out of three rounds, and State Qualifiers for the region they needed to place in the top nine teams. 

“Although we did not win, it was super cool to be able to be the first team to make it that far in San Marin history,” Fox said. “Meeting teams from all across California was really interesting because even though debate can be a heated environment, in the end everyone is a good sport and you get to meet a lot of like minded people.” 

In addition to not only meeting new people at the competition, Pannala felt that once he was comfortable, he was able to come out of his comfort zone. 

 “I was initially very nervous to compete in the state championships, but once we started, I became more confident in the abilities of my partner and I,” Pannala said. “I was kind of surprised that the competitors weren’t extremely technical. I had come across many teams who used all kinds of debate jargon and spoke at 100 mph, but when I began debating, most people were slower and easier to understand. Overall, I was excited just to qualify for the state championship and I found the tournament to be a lot of fun.” 

Stefania Bitton
Seniors Pranav Pannala and Trevor Fox debate as Pannala is First Speaker. For the first time in San Marin history, Speech and Debate members competed in State Finals winning a total of five out of the possible eight votes. 

Author: Stefania Bitton

Stefania Bitton is a senior and the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the San Marin Pony Express. You will most likely find her singing and rocking out to any song that is playing. Ironically she doesn’t know how to sing but somehow she always knows the lyrics.

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