Classes won’t begin at Gonzaga University until Aug. 29 but that did not stop highly touted incoming freshmen Abe Corrigan from Glenview, Ill., and James Joseph from San Diego from capturing their first varsity collegiate debate tournament championship.
Corrigan and Joseph teamed up to post a 7-1 record to win the Arizona Debate Institute Tournament, held earlier this month in Tempe, near Arizona State University. Corrigan was named the top overall speaker at the Institute and Joseph was named the No. 3 speaker.
The Institute, which included two weeks of lectures and debates about their topic this season, ran from July 31-Aug. 13. More than 90 students from some three dozen schools attended and discussed the topic for the 2006-07 season: That the U.S. Supreme Court should overrule one or more of the following decisions: U.S. v. Morrison, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Ex Parte Quirin, Milliken v. Bradley.
Also representing GU at the Institute were sophomores Melissa Hanna from Los Angeles and Brent Hamilton from Portland, Ore., who posted a 6-2 record (including a loss to GU freshmen) and were recognized as the fifth-place team. Coach Glen Frappier said he was pleased with the debaters’ performance at the Institute and looks forward to another successful year.
“This is really great news for our program. To see our incoming freshman step up like that and just dismantle much more experienced competition is hopefully a sign of great things for the future,” he said. “Both Abe and James were highly sought-after recruits and they have the talent to be among the best debaters in the nation by the end of their sophomore seasons. Our returning sophomores also showed that they’ve improved a lot over the last year and are ready to really compete against top level teams.”
Those students, along with returning juniors Nick Bormann, from Spokane, and Grace Saez, from Las Vegas, will comprise the nucleus of what Frappier said will be “a terrific squad capable of carrying on the GU tradition.”
The team begins the 2006-2007 season hosting the West Coast opening tournament Sept. 15-17. Since GU is hosting the season-opener, the Zag debaters won’t compete in the event, but will open the competitive season the following week at the University of California at Berkeley. The balance of the fall schedule will include: University of Kentucky, University of Richmond, Pepperdine University, Wake Forest University, Harvard University, and Whitman College.
“This is as tough a schedule as anyone in the country will travel,” Frappier said. “Our debaters will have the opportunity to go up against the best on a regular basis. Hopefully all the hard work and preparation will pay off.” For more information, contact Coach Glen Frappier at (509) 323-6663 or firstname.lastname@example.org