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Debate team goes the extra mile

Junior+Sean+Malhotra%2C+left%2C+and+senior+Rushabh+Patel%2C+center
Junior Sean Malhotra, left, and senior Rushabh Patel, center

Junior Sean Malhotra, left, and senior Rushabh Patel, center

Junior Sean Malhotra, left, and senior Rushabh Patel, center

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Stratford’s debate team members, Rushabh Patel and Sean Malhotra, recently went the extra mile to compete in a tournament.

Kevin Whitley, the team’s coach,  could not make it due to a family emergency. And Mr. Stephen O’Hara, the team’s  advisor, could not drive the team due to a 100-degree fever.

Just when the debate team thought things couldn’t get worse, senior Rushabh   received an e-mail from the tournament saying the team might have to drop out because it couldn’t fill out the judging requirements.

The panic quickly settled into the team and Rush called all of his personal contacts, trying to find a judge that could sub in last minute. After an hour on phone calls and emails, he found a judge.

Pullquote Photo

Debate has truly changed my life, to the people I have met, to the obstacles I have hurdled over, it has truly been a defining element in my life.”

— Rushabh Patel

But the tournament denied the judge because the deadline had passed to file the judge requirements.

Rush was able to negotiate with the tournament and was able to pay a late fee that was waived by the tournament director when the team arrived. Rushabh’s mother and father provided transportation to and from the tournament.

Despite  no coaching at all, Sean, a junior, and Rushabh won four debates and finished first. Sean received the eighth-best speaker award and Rush received the ninth-best speaker award.

Debate has made a huge impact on Rushabh’s life.

“I have had so many obstacles put in front of me, and I keep working past them,” he said. ” Every time I have fallen down, I have gotten up bigger, better, and stronger. Debate has truly changed my life, to the people I have met, to the obstacles I have hurdled over, it has truly been a defining element in my life.”

About the Writer
Chandani Patel, Co-Editor

GRADE: Senior

YEARS ON GAZEBO: Third year

MY FAVORITE THINGS: Drawing, photography, going to the beach, hanging out with friends, and being happy

SIX-WORD...

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Debate team goes the extra mile