This past Saturday, the Speech and Debate Team took part in their first ever virtual competition at this year's Pumpkin Tournament.

Xaverian's Speech and Debate Team recently took part in their first ever virtual competition at this year's Pumpkin Tournament, sponsored by the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League. While column inches have been filled, and thousands of tweets have been posted bemoaning the state of high school athletics in Massachusetts this fall, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected school clubs and non-athletic activities to an equal extent. Mr. Michael Plunkett, the Speech and Debate Team Moderator, notes that "speech and debate tournaments are traditionally very social events hosted by one high school with several different high schools all meeting and competing in classrooms throughout the day. The virtual format has changed all of that."

Teams across the state have been challenged to adapt to the new normal of speech and debate competitions. No longer able to "work the room" by moving around the stage and engaging judges individually, students are faced with a zoom call of other contestants and a judge. The adjustment seems to have gone well for Xaverian's team, as senior captain Sam Noonan took first prize in Group Discussion with junior vice captain Krish Shah taking second. Sophomore Rishu Nevatia grabbed second place in Impromptu speaking. Mr. Plunkett summed up the first competition by saying: "We miss the team spirit of traveling to and from the tournament on the bus...but all in all, we did well, and we are adapting to this new digital platform." In a year full of adversity, it is nevertheless good to see Xaverian students back to competing and excelling in and outside of the classroom. 

Congratulations to Sam ’21, Krish ’22 and Rishu ’23 for placing in the first event and good luck to the team as they move on to their next competition. Go Hawks!
A private, Catholic, college preparatory day school for boys in grades 7-12. The Boston area prep school offers a rigorous academic curriculum, a well-developed campus ministry program focused on faith, character, and leadership, and a proud athletic tradition featuring competitive Division 1 high school athletics in the Catholic Conference.