Delbarton Forensics: A Year’s Overview

Forensics: It is Not Just Talk!


Yash Bhandari, Staff Writer

This year has been another successful season for the Delbarton Forensics Society. While COVID-19 significantly impacted last season regarding going on travel tournaments, this year was a transition to normalcy. I’ve had the opportunity to go to numerous travel tournaments this year, and I can genuinely say that it has been a formative experience.

Last year was an excellent season for Delbarton Forensics. In their second tournament ever, the duo of Alex Calder 24’ and Jack Grbic 24’, beat a top 12 national team at the La Costa Canyon Winter tournament. Jack Wells 23’ and I were semi-finalists in JV PF at the NJ State Championship. The duo of Matthew Sebastian 22’ and Alexander Banker 22’ placed 17th at the Tournament of Champions. 

Similar to last year, this year has been almost as successful. After a run in several local and national tournaments during the regular season, the Delbarton Forensics team reached success in the postseason first at the NJ District Tournament in February. This tournament gives a chance for NJ teams in speech and debate to qualify for the NSDA National Tournament in June. It was also the first year that Delbarton hosted the tournament since the pandemic. At the end of the tournament, Nick Scola 23’ placed 1st in his speech division for Program Oral Interpretation and secured his qualification for Nationals. 

Furthermore, there were several accomplishments at the NJ State Championship in March. After numerous debate rounds amongst a pool of talented debaters, Matthew Sebastian and Alexander Banker placed 2nd in the Varsity Public Forum Debate division. In addition to the varsity team’s achievement, the JV and Novice teams achieved a lot. The novice duo of Julian Osorio 24’ and Dominick Beck 25’, and the JV duo of Alex Calder and Ezekiel Ehrenberg 25’ placed top five in their respective divisions.

But success didn’t stop there. There were several victories at national tournaments following Districts and the State Championship. First, at the National Debate Coaches Association tournament, Alex Calder and Ezekiel Ehrenberg placed 5th, and the duo of Romir Patel 25’ and Jack Grbic ranked 17th in the nation. Most of the participants in this tournament have qualified for the Tournament of Champions in April. The tournament is an excellent way for competitors to practice against each other. 

After NDCA, the team faced tough competition at the Tournament of Champions in April. Regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year, our team spent weeks researching information, writing cases, and conducting practice sessions. Specifically, we debated whether Japan should revise Article 9 of its Constitution to develop offensive military capabilities. In the end, the duo Alexander Sun 22’ and Eric Moldoveanu cleared the elimination rounds which is the first time in 8 years that Delbarton has done so in the Gold Division. They finally placed in the top 33. Additionally, Nick Scola was a semifinalist in Program Oral Interpretation and a finalist in Oral Interpretation. And most recently, our debaters competed in the NSDA Last Chance Qualifier. Hence the name, competitors are given one last chance to qualify for the National Tournament in June. In the end, the duo of Ezekiel Ehrenberg and Romir Patel secured their entry as the youngest team at Delbarton to qualify for nationals. 

While the schedule was rather busy, the post-season is not over yet. Ms. Mary Gormely, Director of Forensics, explained how “we’ve had an amazing year in both speech and debate. Delbarton qualified students in every major national competition: UK TOC, NIETOC, NCFL Grand Nationals, and NSDA Nationals. We hope for a successful close of the season over the Memorial Day weekend in Washington, DC, and in June in Louisville, KY.” Overall, I look forward to a solid finish to this season and an even more triumphant year ahead.