Team Captain: In the 2013-14 season, Albert Tang probably earned more trophies than any other freshman in El Camino Real history. He was successful in a variety of events last year and has started out his sophomore year fairly strong as a Varsity Student Congress Finalist in the highly competitive Jack Howe Long Beach Tournament.
Team Captain: With her dad as the team coach in her freshman and sophomore years, Hilda Velásquez-Galvez competed in just about every tournament on the schedule. Through additional competitions in her junior and senior years, and as an assistant to her dad’s academy, Hilda is, and will probably always be the point’s leader at El Camino Real. More importantly, with great successes she has had so far in her junior year, the team will likely see Hilda representing the school in the state and national championships in 2015 and 2016!
Team Captain: Although Marlon Poroj doesn’t have the most points on the team, he is by far the most-accomplished competitor on the squad. In short, he wins trophies in a variety of events, and does it often! It should also be noted that Marlon is a lead member of the school’s Model UN contingent, and was a quality defense attorney for the school’s Mock Trial team.
Team Captain: Although she doesn’t load up on points monthly in the points-rich Student Congress event, senior Emily Mercer has made her mark by earning trophies in a great variety of events (Parliamentary Debate, Original Advocacy, Duo Interpretation, Thematic Interpretation, Student Congress, and Impromptu). This fall Emily was able to parlay skills honed in these competitions for use in the courtroom and ended up being the top scoring defense attorney on the school’s Mock Trial team this year. When the fall semester of her senior year came to a close, she, along with Marlon, Shawn, and Hilda ended up in the top 10 in two MVP lists for the Tri-County Forensic League, most Open points in League competition, most Open points in Invitational competitions.
Team Captain: For all of last year, in his sophomore year, Shawn Haq was one of the stronger competitors in Student Congress. He, along with Hilda and Albert, turned in regular strong performances but the trio could never quite top the mastery of Marlon. However, in the State Quals in March he made his move by jumping over the others and finishing 2nd in the TCFL, right behind, Marlon. Then, he made his next big move and bested Marlon in the National Qualifier competition. Moving deep into the 2014-15 schedule, the trend from last year has continued, with Marlon being the top Congress competitor and Shawn typically finishing just behind him. However, in another area this year, Shawn has gained the upper hand. Besides solid performances in Model UN, Shawn proved to be a great asset for the school’s Mock Trial team this year, carrying the prosecution to a first round victory with a perfect score!
Like Sophia, Senior Teddy Yerxa has not been able to attend as many tournaments as other team members, but he has had an extremely high success rate in the ones he has battled in. Since their first attempt as a Parliamentary Debate team last January, he and Emily have been undefeated in all rounds and lead the squad in that event. Teddy was also the team’s top Impromptu speaker at the State Quals in March.
Brendan Pichay had a strong start to his year in Student Congress, was one of the team’s top competitors at the highly competitive Cal Invitational in February, and ended up as a Semi-Finalist in the Student Congress State Qualifier competition.
Madinah Najib’s early season effort in Congress did not translate into a break, but through perseverance, the tide has changed!
Perhaps the most successful new member of the team this year is junior, Mustafa_Waheb. The early results indicate that he will be a core member of the Student Congress squad for the next two years.
Sara Kiamanesh has been one of the most-regular tournament attendees in 2014-15 and her early success is no doubt a foreshadowing of what is to follow.
At Hart, we discovered that Gabriel Salazar was going to be a force to be reckoned with this year.
Zainab Rangwala is another member of the team’s successful Student Congress squad. Look for her to be bringing home more trophies as the month’s unfold!
Andrew Do has been slugging away in competitions from the start and is on the cusp of a big break-out day.
Jasmine Moheb has been with the team since her great start at CSU Long Beach in Congress. With such success in only her freshman year, she will surely build quite a resume in Speech and Debate before she graduates.
Sophomore Jeremy Miller wasn’t able to break through with his first competition, but has since brought home hardware with victories in subsequent tournaments.
Over the last 12 months, senior Shiloh Saks has only been able to compete with the team on select occasions, but in every instance, she has either earned a trophy or advanced to the Finals/Semi-Final Round in Original Prose and Poetry.
Last year, junior Sophia Funkhouser accompanied the team to tournaments only periodically, but when she did, she had an extremely high rate of winning. It was not uncommon for her to swing into a competition and out-place team members who came more regularly. If her schedule allows, Sophia could really tally a lot of tournament victories in the future.
For the past two years, Mr. Maury was the team’s adviser, but now has taken over operations and is now the adviser and team coach. During just about every day during Lunch and sometimes after school, Mr. Maury’s classroom is transformed into a Speech and Debate lab.