Captains lead team to national qualifiers


The speech and debate team displaying their trophies after a tournament.

Lauren Gaubert, Reporter

Under the leadership of captains Alexa DeCarlo and Ann Plat, the speech and debate teams have more students qualifying for state and national tournaments than in previous years.

DeCarlo, a three-year member, is captain of the speech team.

“I really enjoyed being a member on the team and watching others perform, so being a captain just seemed like a natural thing for me,” DeCarlo said. “When Mr. Steinberg offered the position to me, I was thrilled.”

Juniors Alexa DeCarlo and Alexis Hohman hold up their trophy.

DeCarlo helps her teammates pick performance pieces and prepare. She offers critiques and shows her moral support.

“My favorite part of being the captain is watching my fellow team members succeed,” DeCarlo said. “Watching other speech team members up on the awards stage getting trophies, state qualifying points, and scholarships is such a cool experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”

Participating in the program has even given DeCarlo the opportunity to think about what she would like to do in the future.

“I’ve known that I wanted to be a lawyer since I was in middle school,” DeCarlo said. “I think that being on the team has really helped encourage me to pursue that after high school.”

Plat, a senior,  joined the debate team her freshman year and wanted to become a captain because of her love of the team and activity itself.

“I love our team and am passionate about debating,” Plat said. “I enjoy gaining intellectual insight from my opponents and judges as well as the relevant topics we debate about.”

Being the debate captain means that Plat must lead team meetings, help the new debaters improve their cases and skills, lead the practice debates, and more.

“It’s a lot of work, but I really enjoy working with my teammates at all levels and truly helping them develop into better debaters while growing in friendship as well.”

Senior Ann Plat holds up her trophy in front of her rankings.

Plat also hopes to pursue a future in law.

“Although I haven’t decided on a college, I am leaning towards majoring in communications or philosophy and then go on to law school because I have always wanted to be a lawyer,” Plat said. “Debate has affirmed my previous desires to do so.”

DeCarlo and Plat were named captains after interviewing with Kevin Steinberg, their coach. The other team members also had input into the selection.

“Alexa and Ann are both hard workers and are dedicated to helping others become successful,” Steinberg said. “They have helped a lot by staying after practices, leading by example, and taking the team to the top of winning traditions.

Both DeCarlo and Plat notice and appreciate all of the friendships and hard work that everyone on the team puts forth.

“Everyone on the team seems to genuinely care about one another and every tournament we go to is always a blast,” DeCarlo said. “We grew a program out of basically nothing with Mr. Steinberg and I am so glad we’ve been able to keep the team camaraderie high.”