By Juliette Nguyen and Segan Helle
On Friday and Saturday, February 28th and March 1st, seniors Joebert Rosal and Althea Roy competed in the State Qualifying Tournament for speech and debate, ranking in 2nd place overall in public forum. State Qualifiers were held at La Costa Canyon High School, with preliminary rounds on the rainy Friday. This marks the second time in Baron history that a public forum debate team has qualified for the annual State Tournament.
“I’m very happy that Joebert and Althea are the team going to state: Joebert because of all the time and the four years [he has spent in the club], and Althea because as a first year debater, she has shown the most improvement,” Speech and Debate Club advisor Eric Helle said.
Rosal and Roy competed on Friday and finished with a flawless 2-0 score, along with another public forum team, Sabrina Gonzalez and Devin Helle. Teams that make it past the third round are in the top half of the league and must compete in three more rounds in order to make it to finals.
“February’s really busy, so we get a lot of preparation for state quals, then we had an in-club tournament with Helix Charter, so we’ve had ten rounds of practice and three all-nighters,” said Rosal.
Rosal and Roy were the only public forum team from Bonita to make it to the quarterfinal round, where they defeated a team competing from Carlsbad High School. Both the semi-final round and final round were also against Carlsbad teams.
“I felt very confident, we practiced the case many times, we were very fluent in the topic,” said Rosal.
The State Tournament is projected to be held at James C. Enoch High School in Modesto, from April 25th to the 27th.
“I’m really proud, it’s really exciting. I’ve always wanted to go to state. At the end of senior year, it makes me really happy, especially considering the fact there are a lot of schools that have additional practice. It will help more in the future, not just in debate, but in life,” said Rosal.