Debate practice at McClymonds with coach Joseph Flores
Story photo by Anthony Beron
It was a day to cheer on debaters.
Two McClymonds High School freshmen and a senior placed in the top 10 of the rookie division speakers at the Bay Area Urban Debate League New Year’s Classic debate tournament at UC Berkeley Saturday.
Freshman Hailey King placed 3rd, freshman Parrish Kendricks 8th and senior Anastasia Walton 9th in their first debate. King and partner Kendicks also placed 4th as a team.
The Warriors’ debate team is fledgling, being formed in the fall of 2013.
“They’re getting much better,” said Pamela Tapia, a Mack graduate (and former BAUDL debater) who coaches the team. “We’re trying to become a powerhouse like athletics, but it’s tough to compete for after-school time with our successful sports teams.”
The team meets twice a week near the school library, to cover debate tactics and review sources for arguments.
Tapia said that the team has benefitted from the recent addition of mentor coach Joseph Flores (nicknamed “J-Flo”), a UC Berkeley student who debated for the Los Angeles Urban Debate League.
Placing in the top 20 as speakers were Nicole Funes, 13th, Anique Gichanga, 14th and Jaden Nixon, 16th.
In the novice division, freshmen J’Mya Gray-Martinez and Danenicole Williams placed 13th as a team.