The Oxnard High School English and Spanish debate teams’ successful season this year began at the Regional State Migrant Speech and Debate Competition at Oxnard College on March 17, 2018. After winning first place against Pacifica High School and Santa Paula High School, they advanced to the State Competition which took place on May 6 in Visalia, California where they competed against 14 schools. This is the second consecutive year that OHS debate has went on to compete at State.
This year’s English team consisted of junior Antonio Huerta, junior Emanuel Aragon, sophomore Jocelyn Garza Cruz, and freshman Marie Oregel, with their captain, junior Claudia Oregel. The Spanish team had senior Marijose Melendez, junior Lytzi Garcia, junior Fernanda Guzman, and junior Adrian Santoyo. Mr. Miguel Cordova and Mr. Francisco Reynoso coached these students to prepare for this year’s topic: is solitary confinement a violation of human rights?
The winners of the competition were based on how they dressed, performed, argued for their side and many other factors, according to Oregel. Both teams ended up placing second at the State competition. “We did really good, but I felt like for the amount of time that we prepared, we could’ve done so much better. I think we would have been able to get first place,” said Oregel. “We had a great voice [that day],” added Huerta.
As a first year debate competitor, Cruz said, “In the beginning it was a little rough and nerve-racking, but we all got used to it.”
For next year’s competition, Cruz said that things they should do differently is prepare everyone to be well informed with both sides of the argument and to improve their performance.
A majority of the debate team members agreed that their main goal for next year is to win first place. “Because the State Competition [will be] here in Ventura, we want to represent and win first place,” said Oregel.
With all of the effort they put into competing, the OHS debate team “made the sting mean” this year.