RHS Speech and Debate Excels at State Championships, with Nine Students Breaking Through to Final Rounds


Katherine Burke

Of the 19 members of the Speech and Debate Team who attended the State Championships (pictured), held at Hunterdon Central High School on March 17 and 18, nine of them made it to final rounds.

Isabel Kao, Staff Reporter

The Speech and Debate club enjoyed numerous victories in various categories at the annual State Championships, held at Hunterdon Central High School the weekend of March 17 – 18.

Of the 19 Randolph students who competed, nine advanced to quarter-final, semi-final or final rounds.

Eight of the debaters who attended were either freshmen or sophomores, which was an impressive showing of underclassmen.


  • Conner Cafero, senior: Quarterfinalist in Varsity LD (Lincoln-Douglas)
  • Briana Lange and Sophia Bonadio, sophomores: Quarterfinalists in JV Parli
  • Thomas Draghi and Ryan Schorr, sophomores: Semifinalists in Duo
  • Ryan Schorr, sophomore: Semifinalist in Improv
  • Rachel Gontarski, senior: Semifinalist in Improv
  • Kayla Debrito, senior: Semifinalist in Improv
  • Carolyn Hu, sophomore: Semifinalist in OO (Original Oratory) and Finalist in Impromptu

With debate season coming to an end, team members are starting to reflect on the year that just passed. “Growing from only two to five people attending tournaments to 19 this year is an incredible feat for the club, and all the students participating should be proud of themselves,” Vice President of Debate Isabel Kao said.

“We have grown so much individually and as a team since September,” Vice President of Speech Kayla Debrito said. “This was our one last hurrah,” she added in reference to the state competition.

But the team is not disbanding yet. The banquet is coming up on April 19 and Coach Katherine Burke is reminding everyone to get ready for districts, which start next week.