Sunvite and Skimboards


This past weekend was Debayte’s first competition of the New Year! In total we took 89 of our speech and debate squad to NSU’s Sunvitational National Tournament where we competed with 1500 kids from over 12 different states.  The weekend was filled with long hours of nerves, excitement and lots of competition, as well as some really great food trucks for us to indulge and to keep us competitors fueled up. Moreover, many of the national tournaments we attend throughout the year are fun and exciting but this tournament holds a special place in the heart of Cypress Debayte.  The last five years Cypress has placed 1st in an event to take home the winning trophy of a hand painted skimboard by a local artist. This weekend we were able to make that happen for a 6th year in a row!

So without further ado, please congratulate most notably, Maya Hedrick (junior) was the champion in Dramatic Interpretation winning a highly coveted skim board trophy. However, Maya was not the only success this weekend. Additionally, Shawn Dermer, Roberto Fernandez, Mackenzie Hirsh, Liraz StilmanSharan Sawlani, Matthew Liebman, Rachel Gutner, Hannah Gutner, and Maeghanan Fitzgerald all earned bids to the Tournament of Champions. We have collectively as a team received over 20 bids this year in speech and debate!

More Cypress Success:

Jenee Cidel (junior) placed 2nd overall in Program Oral Interpretation, 4th overall in Duo Interpretation, Top 20 of Dramatic Interpretation

Sterling Wertanzl (senior) placed:  3rd overall in Humorous Interpretation; 4th overall in Duo Interpretation, 4th overall in Program Oral Interpretation

Brian Levy (senior) placed 3rd overall in Extemporaneous Speaking

Daniel Gamboa (senior) placed 4th overall in Informative Speaking

Zachary Wurtenberger (junior) placed 4th overall in Humorous Interpretation, in the Top 12 of Duo Interpretation

Gus Duran (junior) placed 6th overall in Extemporaneous Speaking

Shawn Dermer (senior) was 8th overall in Lincoln Douglas Debate

Mae Fitzgerald (senior) and Sharan Sawlani (senior) were 9th overall in Public Forum Debate and the FIRST SEED heading into elimination rounds.

Daniella Paretti (junior) was 16th overall in Congressional Debate 

Maya Hedrick (junior) also placed in the Top 12 of Duo Interpretation

Laura Rodriguez (sophomore) placed in the Top 12 of Program Oral Interpretation, Top 12 of Informative Speaking

Dylan Lyon (junior) placed in the Top 12 of Impromptu Speaking

Mackenzie Hirsh (junior) and Liraz Stillman (junior) were in the top 16 of Public Forum Debate

Roberto Fernandez (senior) was in the Top 16 of Lincoln Douglas Debate

Kaylin Ambrose (sophomore) placed in the Top 20 of Original Oratory

Aetedal Odeh (senior) placed in the Top 20 of Dramatic Interpretation

Partnerships: Ethan Silvey/Andrew Briceno (juniors) & Max Winton/Miles Berger placed in the Top 30 Public Form Debate Teams (there were 250 teams competing at the tournament)

That’s all for now folks, keep sending us positive vibes as we have much more ground to cover in the upcoming weeks. Go Lightning!


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