Cypress Bay DeBAYte Team Excels at National Tournament of Champions

Congratulations to the Cypress Bay DeBAYte Team on its outstanding performance at the National Tournament of Champions. Eight students won awards including one national championship.

High school debate students work all year to qualify for the National Tournament of Champions, and only the top competitors are invited to compete. Cypress Bay had an impressive 17 students participate, competing against more than 1,000 students from over 40 states and four countries.

Despite the tough competition, the Cypress Bay DeBAYte Team excelled. Senior Sterling Wertanzl was named National Champion in Oral Interpretation.

“We could not be prouder of her accomplishments, and this first for Cypress DeBAYte,” shared Cypress Bay Director of Speech and DeBAYte Alyssa Fiebrantz.

Seven other debaters ranked in the top 30 of their respective events. Brian Levy was 10th place in Extemporaneous Speaking. Daniel Gamboa was 13th place in Extemporaneous Speaking. Aetedal Odeh placed 17th in Oral Interpretation. Zachary Wurtenberger placed 18th in Humorous Interpretation. Hannah Gutner placed in the top 20 of Congressional Debate. Roberto Fernandez was 23rd speaker in Policy Debate, and his partner Reilly Markowitz was 26th speaker.

According to Ms. Fiebrantz, the Cypress Bay DeBAYte Team has seen record-breaking success this past year. It won the Florida State tournament, the University of Georgia tournament, placed second at the George Mason University invitational, won the Florida Blue Key tournament, along with numerous individual accolades.

She is especially proud of the graduating seniors, many of whom plan to go on to compete in collegiate Speech and Debate.

“All of our seniors competing next year have received partial or full scholarships based upon their success with Cypress DeBAYte,” boasts Ms. Fiebrantz. “Brian Levy and Aetedal Odeh will compete at George Mason University, Sterling Wertanzl at Hillsdale College, Roberto Fernandez at Wake Forest University and Reilly Markowitz at Indiana University.”

Ms. Fiebrantz says she and the rest of the DeBayte Team coaching staff, Director of Individual Events Jonathon Martin, Nicole Arnold and Nick Montecalvo, were impressed by the hard work and dedication exhibited by the students this past year.

The Cypress Bay DeBAYte Team’s 2017 season ended with the National Speech & Debate Tournament at the end of June.