On November 14, the Bay Area Urban Debate League (BAUDL) reached two major milestones. For the first time in its existence, BAUDL hosted a tournament in the city of San Francisco – a feat made possible by our tournament site, Mission High School, by our new partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), and by the enthusiasm of our Oakland-based debaters in crossing the Bay Bridge to compete. Most importantly, driven by the passion of BAUDL coaches and students, the tournament accommodated 90 students – the most in BAUDL history. The 45 teams representing 11 schools and more than a half-dozen coaches were a true testament to the growth, commitment, and talent of BAUDL debaters.
As the sun set over the Mission District in San Francisco, the heat and fervor of a BAUDL Varity Division final round entered the historic halls of Mission High School. Amidst the classical architecture of Mission High School’s auditorium, Cal Prep’s William Hampton Bruce and Carlene Ervin (Cal Prep BR) and Skyline High School’s Kayla Wheatfall and Rashid Campbell (Skyline WC) took the stage to argue health care politics, welfare reform, and policy oriented military implications. After a round where current events, statistical references, and intelligent argumentation wowed a full audience of BAUDL debaters and community members, Cal Prep’s William Hampton Bruce and Carlene Ervin (Cal Prep BR) were voted champions. Highlighting the talent of BAUDL varsity debaters were fellow perfect record holders Briana Martinez and Natassija Jordan (Cal Prep MJ) of Cal Prep, Skyline’s Zach Seidl and Greg Belvin (Skyline SB), Emiliano Zapata Street Academy’s Delona Jacobs and Wyllene Turner (Street JT) and the Fremont Federation of High Schools’ Juan Ramos and Jazmin Garcia (Fremont RG). Cal Prep’s Natassija Jordan (Cal Prep MJ), no stranger to the award, once again captured the Varsity Top Speaker award, while Greg Belvin (Skyline SB), Kayla Wheatfall (Skyline WC), Wyllene Turner (Street JT), Miranda Pettiford (Balboa PK) offered tough competition as the top five speakers of the tournament’s Varsity Division.
With perfect 3-0 records, Skyline’s Santiago Madden and Tim Zheng (Skyline MZ) were the first place champions of the Novice Division, leading a rich, gifted field of 68 debaters. Following close behind, separated by mere speaker points were fellow teammates Marcus Bartley and Channon May-Brooks (Skyline BM). Other teams representing in full force with flawless record victories were Cal Prep’s Yami Mchombo and Sania Mahmoud (Cal Prep MM) and Aalijah Harrison and Jamiah Sanders (Cal Prep HS) as well as Skyline’s Maya Juergens and Kira Turnball (Skyline JT) and Charnaye McCowan and Aniese Simmons (Skyline MS). Rounding out the top ten and highlighting the power of hybrid duos were Bonita Tindle and Lucius Potter (FreEx PT), respectively of EXCEL Academy and the Fremont Federation of High Schools. Finally, the Novice Division showcased an array of talented speakers and debate styles. Among them were first place top speaker, Kahlil Whitaker (Skyline SW), Skyline High School debater and brother of 2009 BAUDL National Qualifier, Mya Whitaker. Continuing Skyline’s excellence in the Novice Division were second through fifth place speakers Pierre Sagna (Skyline SW), Channon May-Brooks (Skyline BM), Kira Turnball (Skyline BM), and Santiago Madden (Skyline MZ).
The excitement of the Mission High School tournament continues in the East Bay on December 12 and 13 where the top two teams in the Varsity Division compete for a chance to represent the Bay Area in New York City – and the title of BAUDL National Qualifiers. We hope to see you there!