Arguing for the Gold: Profile on BHS’s Debate Team

By Tucker Poux
Volume 69, Issue IV

In an intense battle for the gold, Briarcliff High School’s Debate Team scored big at
the Rockland County Debate League Competition, bringing home silver. The team, captained by senior John Hansley and made up of junior Saule Konstantinavicius and sophomore Chloe Goldstein, took on debaters from across the county this April in what turned out to be a great showing for Briarcliff. The team’s second place trophy was the best the Debate Team has ever done in Briarcliff history.Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 12.46.09 PM

Unsurprisingly, debate competitions tend to be rather heated, and this one was no exception. According to captain John Hansley, “The competition is a bunch of teenagers
in dress clothes who are good at expressing themselves in a verbose manner. The debates themselves, when competitive, can be incredibly intense.” Matches can prove to be volatile, especially when an opponent is losing, and an argument can quickly shift from a civil debate to a nonsensical yelling match. Luckily, the bears kept their cool, securing win after win with quick thinking and clever wit.

The debates covered a variety of different topics, but according to Hansley, the team crushed it during the playoffs with their argument over the Green New Deal. There, ac- cording to Hansley, “I got to see my teammates blossom into high level debaters. I got to see Saule become an elite cross examiner and Chloe become our spearhead by really starting us off strong.”

With star debater Hansley graduating this year, it’s hard to see what the future holds for Briarcliff’s Debate Team. Let’s hope that the team starts next year off swinging and perhaps even secure the gold for Briarcliff. Because after all, according to Hansley, “On the Debate Team we have a motto: No mercy.”


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