Debate team travels to San Antonio, exceeds expectations


After a whole night spent packing and preparing for the big tournament, the St. Thomas debaters sluggishly shuffled towards the Rotunda.

At 8:15 AM, the team and Mr. Yarbrough, accompanied by Mr. Jopowicz, were sent off on the road to San Antonio by Father Fulton and began their road trip to San Antonio to compete in the annual Winston Churchill Classic hosted by the namesake high school.

On the road to San Antonio, who could refrain from going to the traditional Texan pit-stop Buc-ee’s. The team stopped at the famed rest stop and grabbed whatever they wanted. From the beef jerky, of which Congressional debater Davis Burns scored 3 lbs of, to Coca-Cola ICEE, which many helped themselves to.

Special recognition goes out to junior Nathan Bartlett-Will and senior Seth Beavers, Lincoln-Douglas specialists who persevered through to the semi-finals of the Championship bracket, which in itself is no easy task. The Winston Churchill Classic is perhaps the most difficult tournament in the state of Texas to gain any foothold. Teams from all across the state travel to this one location to verbally duke it out with their competitors.

“The Churchill tournament was a great experience for the entire team and a great way to begin the new semester. It was great to see our hard work over break pay off.”

Nathan Bartlett-Will, junior

Kristoph Sayavedra, a newcomer to the Lincoln-Douglas sphere, was entered in the novice bracket and pulled all the way to the finals, coming into second place on a coin flip because it was simply so late into the night.

After constant delays, the final novice debate round started in at 1:00 AM and ended at 1:00 AM. Sadly, Sayavedra was unable to attend a great dinner suggested by Davis Burns’ father at Chris Madrid’s. 

And on the third day, the team went down to the San Antonio river walk to grab some breakfast that came in the form of either Chinese food, pizza, or IHOP. Making a short detour from the river walk towards the Alamo, the team got to know some of the history of the state while having a great time.


Davis Burns ‘17 Domestic Extemporaneous semi-finalist
Ryan Chandler ‘17 Original Oratory semi-finalist
Seth Beavers ‘16` Championship Lincoln-Douglas semi-finalist
Nathan Bartlett-Will ‘17 Championship Lincoln-Douglas semi-finalist
Kristoph Sayavedra ‘19 Novice Lincoln-Douglas 2nd place
Leo Sayavedra ‘18 Championship Lincoln-Douglas double octo-finalist
Carson Rau ‘19 and Jacob Lara ‘19 Novice Public Forum semi-finalists
Evan Lawson ‘19 Poetry Interpretation semi-finalist


Justin is a part-time senior at St. Thomas High School and a full-time Online Editor-in-Chief for The Eagle. He made the website that you are looking through right now, and designs the layouts for all the articles on it. Justin participates in Speech & Debate, the Eagle Broadcast Network, Eagle Ambassadors, Model UN, Student Council, Political Awareness Club, and Columbian Squires. Safe to say that he plays a huge role in your life in someway.