The Jesuit Speech and Debate team earned its first big result of the season on Nov. 14, as Will Ankers ’21 and Max Harden ’22 took third place in public forum debate at the Florida Gulf Coast Catholic Forensics League's online tournament.
The pair went 3-1 in their head-to-head debates for the day, which focused on international nuclear policy. Harden, who is the Speech and Debate club president, and vice president Ankers credited their preparation for the impressive finish.
“We were able to have a mock debate with some of the younger guys,” Harden said. “We were helping the young guys get a foothold in debate as well, and teaching them is really the best teacher for us.”
New to the team less than a year ago, Harden and Ankers have quickly matured into the leaders of the debate team under the tutelage of moderator Brendan Graves and alumni-coach Zoheb Nensey ’06.
The two first joined the team out of interest in current events and discussion with others, but they have found that it has led to meeting like-minded students and fostering new friendships.
And while the team is modest in size (10), it is growing, thanks in-part to the efforts of its outgoing president.
“(Max) is very committed to the team, to debate, and to competition and improvement,” Graves said. “That student buy-in is something that I think has progressed since last year, and I think it if we can keep that going, it points toward a bright future.”
2020 Speech and Debate roster
Will Ankers ’21
Dakota Colangelo ’22
Luke Davis ’22
Max Harden ’22
Johnny Kilkelly ’22
Matthew Silva ’24
Jabarri Summerline ’23
Tristan Garcia ’24
Ty James ’22
Joseph Mele ’22