Holy Trinity Catholic High School took second overall as a school at their district tournament this weekend and had three students qualify for the National Speech and Debate Association national speech tournament in June in Birmingham, Alabama.
This marks the seventh consecutive year that Holy Trinity has qualified at least one student for the national tournament.
Senior Jack Dowling qualified in Congressional Debate, while junior Blaise Mosmeyer and sophomore Zoe Lamborn qualified in Public Forum Debate. This is the third consecutive year that Blaise qualified for the national tournament.
"I couldn't be more proud of these students," Coach Chris Mosmeyer said. "Win or lose, they always represent Holy Trinity and Temple well."
To qualify, the students had to place first or second in their events. The Celtics had other students very close to qualifying. Senior Myra Mudassar is the first alternate in LD Debate, junior Alyssa Erchinger is first alternate in Humorous Interp, sophomore Madison Leurs is second alternate in Humorous Interp, and sophomore Sienna Taylor is second alternate in Dramatic Interp. Freshman Samuel Mosmeyer placed in the top five in a consolation event, Big Questions Debate, two wins away from a national qualifying spot.
Holy Trinity is a member of the Yellow Rose District, a group of more than 30 public and private schools from Central to Northeast Texas. Other area schools in the district include Waco Midway High School and A&M Consolidated High School.
The district meet was held at Center High School in Center, Texas, about 15 miles from the Louisiana border.
It was also announced at the tournament that Holy Trinity has been selected as the host school for the 2018 district tournament. Holy Trinity was host in 2016.
"I'm happy that the district schools have such faith in us and in our community to put the meet here," Chris Mosmeyer said. "We had a good meet last year, and I'm confident we will be good hosts next year. Financially, it helps a lot. Rather than having nine hotel rooms for three nights, we will be able to sleep in our own beds.
"The district meet is different than all of the other tournaments," he added. "The national tournament is a weeklong marathon, but the district meet is like an intense 5K. Some of these students had nine rounds in their events before they were eliminated."
The Public Forum Debate team of Mosmeyer and Lamborn lost their first round on Thursday night to a debate team from THEO, a school from Plano. They then won three consecutive debates on Friday, including a close debate to the team from A&M Consolidated High School, to set up a re-match against the THEO team. Mosmeyer and Lamborn won the re-match on Saturday morning in a 3-0 decision to clinch their nationals spot.
"The same time they were doing that, Blaise and Zoe were competing in Extemporaneous Speaking and Oratory," Chris Mosmeyer said. "They were busy the whole time. Both of them made finals of those events. If they had lost that debate, they would have gone to nationals in those other speech events."
Students are allowed to compete in only one main event at the national tournament.
Thursday, the district held its Congressional Debate contest. Dowling was one of four students from Holy Trinity to advance to the finals in the House. The others were Blaise Mosmeyer, Alexander Enriquez, and Samuel Mosmeyer.
Competition in the finals included several students who placed at the UIL State Congressional Debate meet held last month. Dowling was able to place in the top three, clinching his spot to nationals after a total of six hours of competition with only a lunch break.
Of the other students, Mr. Mosmeyer said Myra had a particularly hard day.
"She was one of the top three in LD Debate," he said. "She lost the last debate in a 2-1 decision to West Hardin High School's Josiah Atkinson, a very strong senior debater. It was really close."
Mudassar qualified for nationals last year and advanced to the top 30 debaters of more than 700 in Extemporaneous Debate at the Salt Lake City nationals in June 2016.
Her nationals run may not be over, Coach Mosmeyer said.
"The district will be selecting a World Schools Debate team to compete in an international debate event held during the same national tournament," he said. "I like her chances. As first alternate, I think she will be seriously considered."
More than 200 students from 20 schools competed at the district meet held in Center, Feb. 16-18. THEO was the top team in Debate, Speech, and Overall. Holy Trinity was second in Debate and Overall. Princeton High School was second in Speech. A&M Consolidated was first in Congressional Debate with THEO second.