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State Champion!!!

By Zoe Perez


When you hear the name “Felicia”, you usually begin to think of all the words that describe her. Athletic, intelligent, and hard-working are only a few words that come to mind. Now, when you think of Felicia, you’ll think of the 2019 Expository State Champion.


Felicia has always had a good work ethic. No matter the time, she is always up to something, whether it’s studying for a test or practicing her speech. So when she qualified for State a couple months back, there was no doubt that she would make it far.


This year’s tournament marked the 10 year anniversary of Vivian Lam winning “Expos” with her speech about Vampires.  It is only fitting Felicia’s speech is about aviation.  This Screamin’ Eagle certainly flew high and proud at the State Championships.


“The tournament was a lot of fun,” Felicia said with her typical casual smile.  “It’s pretty cool to be able to be mentioned alongside (two-time State Champion) Vivian.  She was one of the best.”


She is Gabrielino Speech and Debate’s 20th State Champion!    


Well done, Felicia! The Eagles couldn’t be more proud of you.


Photo by Noli Thai




State Speech and The Beach

By Zoe Perez


State took place at CSULB, California State University Long Beach, hosting the best of the best schools and competitors from all around California. 150 schools headed down to CSULB, ready to battle their way to the top. Some students were nervous about this next level of competition, while others were more than excited. With such a large number of competitors all vying for the top spot, the team’s anxiety level increased. However, our speech students remained calm and collected.


Competing in one of the biggest tournaments of the year is a privilege not everyone gets to be a part of. For the seniors who didn’t qualify for State or Nationals, sadly, their speech career is now over. On the other hand underclassmen who did qualify had a chance to learn from their mistakes, and take on next year’s tournaments with more preparation and experience.


During this tournament, it was survival of the fittest, and our Eagles were hungry for a challenge. Though the opposition was fierce, they didn’t give up without a fight. It was an exhausting three days, commuting up and down the 605 freeway from Gabrielino to Long Beach on top of long hours of competition.  But that couldn’t stop them from delivering their best speeches while keeping smiles on their faces! Performance after performance was draining and waiting the results was a stressful time. Throughout the weekend, the Eagles fought hard to earn a spot alongside other Semi-Finalists and Finalists.


Each of the 12 speech events at the State Championships featured the 56 of the best in California.  After three intense rounds of competition on Saturday, half of the Screamin’ Eagles who qualified for State made it to Semi-Finals for the top 18 in each event Sunday morning! It was a shocking but delightful surprise to find out they would be continuing on in the tournament.


After a trying Semi-Final round, six Eagles advanced to the Final round of seven: Stephanie Rubio, Felicia Tang, Jaycob Wahinehookae, Melanie Hsiang, Andrew Do, and Lauren Hamamoto. At the end of this nerve-wracking round, the Screamin’ Eagles got back on the bus and went six miles down the road to the Marina High School gynmasium for the awards ceremony.  Andrew took 7th place in Humor and Stephanie took 4th in Original Advocacy! Our very own freshman Finalist, Melanie, took 4th place in Program Oral Interpretation! Lauren placed 3rd in Expository and Jaycob took 2nd place in Drama! Last but not least, Felicia Tang was named the 2019 Expository State Champion! 


This is the fourth year in a row Gabrielino speech has welcomed home a State Champion.   Winning Expository Speaking was especially rewarding since this year marks the 10 year anniversary of the Expository 1-2-3-4 finish at the 2009 State Championships.  The 2019 Expository Qualifiers placed 1st, 3rd, 10th and 11th.   A pretty remarkable accomplishment since none of the four are seniors and will all be back next year.


The record 11 freshmen who qualified for State performed exceptionally well.  Geraldine and Alex made the Duo Interpretation Semi-Finals.  Kayla was in the Expository Semi-Finals.  And Melanie made it all the way to the Finals. 


“This is an exceptionally young team, especially the one we qualified for State,” said one of the coaches.  “They are talented and excited.  They bring a great energy to the team.  I think the future is very bright for this program.”


At the end of the Awards Ceremony, Gab Speech placed 6th out of nearly 150 schools.  It is the 19th year in a row the team has placed in the top 8 in the State.


Speech at the beach was a fun experience for all who attended and we’re proud of our Screamin’ Eagle’s performances.


Congratulations and well done, Eagles!


photo by Noli Thai



Students need 3 for each event


10 Years Since the Expos Quad Sweep


Way way back in 2009, the team didn’t have a website.  So, most people didn’t even know the event happened.  Sure, everyone knew the team competed at the State Championships.  Most know the team had 2 champions.  Some knew Vivian Lam won the event, Expository Speaking, “Expos”.  What few people were aware is the extremely rare first, second, third, and fourth place finish by the Screamin’ Eagles in Expos (known as Informative Speaking in other parts of the country). 


Taking the top four spots was so rare, no one, not even the official state association’s historian, could remember if it had ever happened in 50-year history of the tournament.  It certainly hasn’t happened in the past 10 years. 


In 2001, a school from Northern California had five students place sixth through second in Dramatic Interpretation, but never the top four places.  Interestingly enough, it was the legendary Screamin’ Eagle, Adrian Zaw, who prevented that school from accomplishing the feat when he won the 2001 State Championship in Dramatic Interpretation.


It has been 10 years since those four Screamin’ Eagles made their mark.  The tournament was held that year at Culver City High School down by the Los Angeles Airport.  Gabrielino Senior, Vivian Lam was the defending State Champion going into the tournament and she dominated the field to retain her title.  “V Lam” was joined on stage by fellow seniors, Karen Thai and Aaron Huang.  Freshman Connie Wang rounded out the fabulous four.


“Those kids were absolutely amazing,” said one of the team’s officials who was in attendance for the final round competition.  “It was pretty obvious they were the class of the round that year.”


It is interesting to note, this year, the team had all seven speakers in the final round in the same event, Expository, at the Southern California Debate League’s State Qualifying Tournament in March at Cal. St. Long Beach.  They did it without one of their top performers, junior Felicia Tang, who had already automatically qualified for State -because of her placings at league tournaments earlier in the year.  The seven-person close-out had never been accomplished in Expository at the qualifying tournament in the past.  Gabrielino took all six of the league’s spots for this year’s California State Championships, which is also being held, this year, at Cal. St. Long Beach.  That campus seems to be a lucky place for the “Exposers” this year.


So history, in a sense, has repeated itself already.  Time will tell how well they place.  However, a few things are for certain: the students will be deliver their best performances and more people will know how well they do this year.


Good Luck Screamin’ Eagles at The State Championships


The Freshman Flock of State Qualifiers


Kayla Makes It Sound Great

By Zoe Perez


As we count down to the 2019 State Championships, we are spotlighting each of our record setting 11 freshmen State Qualifiers in this on going series. 


Sweet and lovable Kayla Tran will take on the State Championships tournament with her speech “Talk Tingles To Me”. Participating in Expository, her speech reveals what the world would be like without the science of sound and includes snippets of ASMR as well. She engulfs her audience with the intricate details displayed throughout her speech.


Along the way, Kayla had help from junior Felicia Tang, sophomore Lauren Hamamoto, and sophomore Kelly Ong. They helped her develop her speech and helped her find the uniqueness of it. Kayla mentions, “I struggled a lot in the beginning, but I compensated by having an entertaining speech. Most people in Expository don’t have speeches like mine so I had an advantage.” She goes on to say, “I wasn’t sure how to make it stand out, so I used my intro, and figured out how to make the significance deep.”


photo by Noli Thai





The Freshman Flock of State Qualifiers


Geraldine & Alex Duo Royalty

By Zoe Perez


As we count down to the 2019 State Championships, we are spotlighting each of our record setting 11 freshmen State Qualifiers in this on going series. 


These two freshmen participate in Duo Interpretation and will be presenting “King Chemo” by Brian Guehring. The two share the heartwarming but sad story of two kids diagnosed with cancer who use imaginary adventures to cope with the process of chemo therapy.


The duo had help from several upperclassmen. Gabriel Pena and Jaden Raymundo helped develop the duo’s characters. Andrew Do and Noemi Liu gave them ideas for blocking and their fighting scene. Some alumni gave critiques and new ideas to work with as well.


When asked about her feelings towards State, Geraldine replied, “I feel excited. I feel a little anxious but excited at the same time.” Alex summed up his feelings for state in two words: “I’m stressed.” The duo had experienced trouble with building a connection with their characters. However, during State Quals they clicked and performed well. When it comes down to a tournament Geraldine is calm and relaxed, whereas Alex is stressed. Even though the difference in nerves, the two personalities balance each other
photo by Noli Thai

The Freshman Flock of State Qualifiers


Bianca Speaks Her Way To State

By Zoe Perez


As we count down to the 2019 State Championships, we are spotlighting each of our record setting 11 freshmen State Qualifiers in this on going series. 


Freshman Bianca Kielty will be attending State Championships as well! Entered in Dramatic Interpretation, she will be presenting, “Speak”, the moving speech of a teenage girl who goes to a party and experiences something that will change her life forever.  Kielty’s character becomes an outcast with a problem of coming forward to express what happened that night.


Excited, nervous, scared, and stressful! All types of emotions are hitting Kielty before she attends State. It’s a rollercoaster of feelings that she must channel into her speech.


During the preparation of her speech, the most difficult thing that she came across was reading it as a script.  Kielty had trouble making her speech flow with authenticity. “It was hard making it seem natural.”  Though this problem might’ve been hard to overcome, Bianca was able to master the needed technique and bring life to her speech.


When she finally goes up and performs, Kielty wants her audience to take away the importance of speaking up and not to “be afraid to stand up for yourself.”  


Photo by Noli Thai






The Freshman Flock of State Qualifiers


Megan Inspires Her Way To State

By Zoe Perez


As we count down to the 2019 State Championships, we are spotlighting each of our record setting 11 freshmen State Qualifiers in this on going series. 


Freshman Megan Chan will be performing an Original Interpretation at State called, “Address By the National Teacher of the Year”. Her speech is about a teacher who discusses how our school system singles out those who are different, leaving students all across the country neglected or forgotten.


When asked about going to State, Megan responded, “There are a lot of nerves going around and just the thought of being surrounded by some of the best speakers in the state is also quite overwhelming.” She’s excited to be able to represent Gabrielino in one of the biggest tournaments of the year .


With a huge tournament up ahead, all problems must be solved before someone takes the stage. Megan struggled with a mental outlook on her speech. “More than often, I’m filled with self-doubt about whether I’m doing my speech and the people around me justice,” Megan claims. This mindset greatly interferes with Megan’s performance; however she comes around and always delivers a speech. 


Time is going by quickly as the days countdown to State Champs! With every passing minute, Megan’s anxiety escalates. When she finally reaches the stage, she’s hoping to inspire her audience and for them to take her message into the real world.


photo by Noli Thai





The Freshman Flock of State Qualifiers


Peers Get Trisha to State 

By Zoe Perez


As we count down to the 2019 State Championships, we are spotlighting each of our record setting 11 freshmen State Qualifiers in this on going series. 


Trisha Tanaka will be performing in Dramatic Interpretation with the speech “Prissy Thomas” by Sarie Fischer Norval. Trisha explains her speech is a story about a girl’s best friend who unfortunately met her fate when she died in a car accident. Now that her memory is engraved with this traumatic event, she begins to take on her best friend’s mannerisms as a coping mechanism.


While preparing this speech, Trisha had help from her peers in creating believable emotions and actions. Her friends played a impactful role in the making of her speech by giving her critiques and pointing out certain features. According to Trisha, “One of the most difficult things was trying to sound natural, because sometimes it was as if I wasn’t memorized.” She eventually got past this obstacle and ended up being one of the State qualifiers!         


photo by Katherine Xie




The Freshman Flock of State Qualifiers


Trust Gets Vincent & Karyme to State

By Zoe Perez


As we count down to the 2019 State Championships, we are spotlighting each of our record setting 11 freshmen State Qualifiers in this on going series. 


Karyme Pena and Vincent DeMarco will take the stage with their speech “Anna and August”. The Duo will present a beautiful speech about two kids who fall in love at a young age and happen to lose contact when distance comes between them. However, when they reunite in high school they show that true love always lasts.


Some of the hardships that came with this duo were being able to trust each other. Having trust in each other’s blocking was important to animate this story. However, it seems this was the only real issue that came across; Karyme and Vincent got along, as well as with their other teammates. Together, their chemistry was a special element in drawing their audience into the story.


Both students are excited to perform their speech and impress their audience. Karyme is proud of how far they’ve come together. Vincent expresses the same emotion and says, “It’s another chance to go out there and give people a show.” Leading up to state, the two had opposite feelings. Vincent approached State Qualifiers as simply another tournament, while Karyme was feeling incredibly nervous.  “This could’ve been my last performance and I just wanted to make everyone proud,” Karyme stated. They both want their audience to feel the love, friendship, innocence, and growth of the two characters.  Now that they’ve been selected to perform, the two can’t wait to give it all at the State Championship.


photo by Noli Thai





The Freshman Flock of State Qualifiers


Perseverance Is a Snap For Thien

By Zoe Perez


As we count down to the 2019 State Championships, we are spotlighting each of our record setting 11 freshmen State Qualifiers in this on going series. 



One of Thien Le’s most important mottos is “to persevere”. After all, his hard work and perseverance throughout the months leading to State kept him going strong. He’ll be presenting his Humorous Interpretation, “Snap”.  It is a story about a girl who goes through high school and learns the importance of self confidence from her coach.


When given an opportunity to work on his speech, Thien always took it. During practice, he would ask people around him or his fellow members in “Humor” to watch his speech and give critiques. He asked them to give him ideas or feedback so he could improve his speech each time.


Thien has big emphasis on perseverance, but that doesn’t mean he feels confident all the time. Like most people before a big presentation, he is anxious. “I’m nervous, I’m going against the best of the best in California,” Thien mentions. Nevertheless, he is still excited and ready to perform his speech one last time.


“Hardest thing about being in speech in general is you don’t win a lot,” Thien says. “But you have to improve and persevere; you can’t let one plastic trophy define if you are good or not.”


photo by Katherine Xie





The Freshman Flock of State Qualifiers


Pursuit of Perfection

By Zoe Perez


As we count down to the 2019 State Championships, we are spotlighting each of our record setting 11 freshmen State Qualifiers in this on going series. 


Melanie Hsiang is participating in Thematic Interpretation which is also known as Program Oral Interpretation. This event revolves around a central theme that often deals with real world concerns. In her speech, Melanie talks about toxic relationships and how the media has managed to mask the truth behind the abuse.


To create a gripping speech, Melanie was aided by her coach who helped her construct her speech and taught her how to be an overall better performer. Jaycob Wahinehookae, senior, also coached Melanie and stood by her the entire way. Because of the support and attention coming from Jaycob, the two bonded and have a closer friendship than ever.


Everyone comes across difficulties while preparing their speech, and sometimes those problems are quite consistent. Melanie struggled to be content with her speech. She wanted it to be “the best it could be.” “The most difficult thing was having to adapt to those changes, sometimes in a short period of time.” Melanie went on to say, “But it’s very rewarding in the end.” When she gets to State, she wants to give her very best performance, as it is her last.


When she was asked about her feelings towards the championship, Melanie said, “I’m so humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to attend such a prestigious tournament such as this one. I’m definitely very excited to be going.” During State Qualifiers, the thing that motivated Melanie was her audience. She was driven to do her best and give her audience an entertaining message that would also impact them greatly. With her influential words, she hopes her audience will take away the importance of being in a healthy relationship, not only with others, but with yourself as well. To sum up the key message, Melanie stated, “Often times, we overlook self-love and self-appreciation in search of validation from others, but I think the most important thing is to respect yourself.”


Photo by Katherine Xie


The Freshman Flock of State Qualifiers


Gabriel Extemps His Way To State

By Zoe Perez


As we count down to the 2019 State Championships, we are spotlighting each of our record setting 11 freshmen State Qualifiers in this on going series. 


Freshman Gabriel Frank-McPheter competes in National Extemporaneous; an event where he is given a topic related to politics or current events and is given only 30 minutes to prepare a speech. To better prepare him, Extemporaneous Coach Eric Chen spends his hours working to improve Gabriel’s speaking skills and overall performance.


When it comes to the State Championships, Gabriel has an optimistic point of view. Like the other qualifiers, he is beyond excited to compete, however, he also cannot wait to watch and learn from students all across California.


“I genuinely enjoy competing and giving Extemps,” Gabe stated. “I’m also excited to watch other Extempers from across the state! I’ll learn a lot from them.” With his positive mindset, Gabriel is sure to enjoy his time at State Championships.


Although he’s feeling good about State, Gabe still experienced difficulties when in preparation for his speech. His battle with breaking bad habits was not an easy one. “I would always use the same transitional phrases, and I had a bad speaking pattern.” Gabriel goes on to say, “It took a lot of practice to break these habits.” The practicing made perfect, and he is now on the road to one of the biggest tournaments of the year.


When he finally takes the stage, Gabe wants to give his best speech and entertain his audience to the fullest. “I care a lot about what’s going on in the world, and I want my audience to care too,” the happy-go-lucky Extemper says. Gabe can’t wait to show the audience how hard he has been working all year and he plans to give the best rendition of his speech at State!


photo by Noli Thai





Emily Added To Nationals Team


Sophomore Emily Haas has been selected to be a member of the World Debate Team representing East Los Angeles County / Orange County District (ELA) of the National Speech & Debate Association at the National Championships this June in Dallas, Texas.


Emily was an alternate to Nationals in Congressional Debate and is excited she now gets to join 19 of her Screamin’ Eagles teammates in Dallas. 


“I’m so excited for this opportunity! Yee Haw,” Emily exclaimed when she learned of the announcement.


The World Debate Team consists of five members from schools in the eastern half of Los Angeles County and all of Orange County. 


This is the fourth year Gabrielino has qualified a student in World Debate..


Congratulations Emily.  Good luck in Dallas


photo by Noli Thai




Number 150


150. No human being has lived to be 150.  When Disneyland hits their 150th anniversary, or even their 100th one, there will be a huge celebration. If Gabrielino High School becomes 150… well, no one reading this will be around, so it doesn’t matter at this point in time. The Screamin’ Eagles hit 150 and it came and went without much fanfare. 150 first place team sweepstakes trophies, all in the highest division at 150 tournaments. 


In that total is 22 league championships in a row, including several wins at the La Mirada and Schurr High School invitationals, a few wins at the La Costa Canyon tournament in San Diego, a few James Logan Martin Luther King Jr. National Invitational wins, a win at the Stanford National Invitational, and a 2009 win when the team competed in the University of California, Berkeley National Invitational for the last time.


In addition to the 150 first place team sweepstakes, the Screamin’ Eagles have been ranked the best Speech program in the entire state of California a couple of times. The team also won the Bruno E. Jacob award at Nationals for lifetime of program achievement, the first school in Southern California to get it in over 35 years. Though these were momentous achievements being first in speech doesn’t warrant a trophy and the Bruno E. Jacob award isn’t a first place team sweepstakes award, so these weren’t figured into the 150.


The first one was back in 1998.  The team won their first tournament, which also happened to be the team’s first league championship, by three points and the entire school was ecstatic.  This year the team won the league championship, for the 22nd time in a row, by over 100 points and no one batted an eye.


Number 50 came way back in 2006 in the form of a black plaque mounted on a piece of marble with a medal of Martin Luther King Jr. on it from the James Logan Tournament in Oakland. 


Number 100 came when the team won the Claremont Wolfpack Invitational in January of 2012.  The team was able to carve their name on a large perpetual plaque to etch their place in the history of the tournament.  Gabrielino HS is listed a total of five times on the historical tablet.


Number 150 came last month at the National Qualifying Speech Tournament at Arroyo High School where the Team was crowned the 2019 Champions of the East Los Angeles County/Orange County District of the National Speech and Debate Association for the 14th time. 


The team has not lost a speech tournament in the Southern California Debate League since December of 1999.  The Screamin’ Eagles are undefeated this millennium. 


These are not tournaments where only three or four teams compete.  Most league tournaments have around 20 schools competing, and invitationals can have up to 90 teams. 


Some trophies have been distributed around campus for display.  Some have been taken apart and combined with others. The rich legacy of the entire team is not only shown around campus, but it is in the students, old and new, that contribute their time and hard work into this program.   


One of the coaches offered some perspective and stated, “The trophies are merely a result of all the hard work the students and our coaches have put in.”   


It was not a first place trophy, but the first team trophy the Screamin’ Eagles ever won was way back in 1995, when the school was not even a year old yet and only had freshmen on the campus.  It was also the very first tournament the team attended. Gabrielino won 5th place at the league’s Novice Championships. During that era, the coach of the award-winning team was none other than now principal, Sharron Heinrich.


“150 is something all the students, from all the years can take pride,” expressed another coach. “Every student who has ever been on our team in the history of this program has left Gabrielino as league champion.  That’s pretty cool.”


Congrats Screamin’ Eagles on hitting 150.







Three More Going To Dallas


March Madness is upon us and the East Los Angeles County/Orange County (ELA/OC) District of the National Speech and Debate Association pulled off a great buzzer beater.   After constant urging from the Screamin’ Eagles coaching staff, all the schools in the district chipped in to help the league meet the benchmark set by our national governing body just hours before the deadline to add new members.  As a result, the ELA/OC district was able to nab a few more qualification spots for the National Championships this coming June in Dallas, Texas.


Up until 2018, the ELA/OC District had met the benchmark the previous competition year, saving everyone the stress and headache of waiting until the last minute.  Last year, the Gabrielino coaching staff, who had been in charge of the district since 2000, found a loophole and helped the district hit the mark.  The loophole was closed this year and everyone had to hold their breath until the last minute to see if more students would be able to qualify and compete at Nationals.


It was only fitting that the ELA/OC buzzer beater came on the second day of the NCAA March Madness Men’s College Basketball Tournament.  Just before the evenings games were to begin, the numbers came in, all the schools had done their best, and luckily, the additional qualifiers were granted.


However, the anticipation was still at an all time high as official verification still had to come from the National Speech and Debate office in Iowa.  Late Saturday morning, the Executive Director himself called one of the Gabrielino coaches to deliver the good news.  Three Screamin’ Eagles, who were originally the first alternates at the National Qualifying Speech Tournament the weekend before, now get to compete at Nationals.


Since the registration of new members occurred behind the scenes, first alternates to the National competition had to keep their fingers crossed in hopes of a miracle. One team member was especially excited to hear he got a spot. 


“I’m [so] excited!” exclaimed senior Gabriel Pena, who learned the news that he and his duo partner, sophomore Bianca Lua, were going to Nationals. “I have always wanted to end my speech career at Nationals. My coaches kept saying, ‘let us worry about it’, but it was always on my mind.”


Pena and Lua will be joined by sophomore Lauren Hamamoto, who will be competing in Informative, also known as Expository. 


“I’m really happy but also really scared; it’s the National Championships,” expressed Hamamoto. “I’ve never been before, but so many people on this team have gone before me and done really well, so I know I’ll be prepared and I’ll do my best.  It’s just the unknown that is a little scary.”


Hamamoto, Lua, and Pena were not the only students in the ELA/OC district who were granted qualifying spots. Since Gabrielino was not in charge of the district this year, it was important for them to essentially rally the troops. Fortunately, all the schools in the area worked together to ensure that their hardworking students were able to compete in the off-season.


Gabrielino officials stated, “all of the Gab points that could help were already submitted so we were more like cheerleaders on the side hoping those who could, would. We are excited that more students from more schools get the incredible opportunity to compete at Nationals.”


The last minute addition means there will be a total of 19 Screamin’ Eagles competing in Dallas this summer.  But before that, the team members will be working hard to prepare for the California State Championships in May at California State University, Long Beach.


Way to go Screamin’ Eagles!!!!









2 More Qualify for Nationals in Congress

By Zoe Perez




It is always good to try new things, and a few of our speech students did just that. Those who wanted to try a different form of


speech signed up to go to the Congressional Debate tournament on Mar. 23. It was hosted at Arroyo High School in the East Los Angeles district. The students who chose to go and expose themselves to this new environment were all sophomores.


None of them had ever participated in a Congressional Debate tournament before, and although the Congress dynamic was different to what these students were used to, that did not stop them from succeeding. In fact, sophomore Sharon Liu, ended up winning first place, qualifying her to the National tournament in Dallas.


Along with Liu, junior Samuel Villescas qualified as well, which takes the number of Screamin’ Eagles attending Nationals from 14 to 16. We’re proud of our Eagles and cannot wait to see what these talented 16 have to offer at Nationals!


photo by Stephanie Rubio







14 Going To Dallas

By Zoe Perez


Earlier this month, the Screamin’ Eagles took home a win at the East LA National Qualifying Tournament. After weeks of practice and hard work, our Eagles took flight and performed exceptionally well. Although it was a sunny day, our Eagles had no time to sit back and relax. They needed to keep themselves focused on qualifying for the National Championships in Dallas, Texas!


Gabrielino hosted the preliminary rounds on Friday night.   Arroyo High hosted the next day for the second half. It was a long and stressful tournament, but our Eagles persisted and pushed all the way through. 29 Eagles were sent to compete against the best of the best of East Los Angeles County and Orange County District.


“I was nervous because you work really hard throughout the year to get to this tournament and you get all or nothing out of it,” shared junior Felicia Tang. “There are only two qualification spots for Expos and I genuinely believe that everyone who went to Nat Quals deserved to qualify, so it was a nerve wrecking tournament.”


Eleven schools coming from East Los Angeles and Orange Counties attempted to secure the two qualifying spots in each of the 8 speech events, however, our Eagles soared above the other competitors. Out of the 16 qualification spots, Gabrielino ended the tournament with 14 students that will be attending the national tournament.


The Screamin’ Eagles won the tournament for the 13th time.  Team Co-Captain, senior Stephanie Rubio proclaimed, “I’m so proud of everyone.”


Despite the amazing results, the end of National Qualifications Tournament was a bittersweet moment. For the 14 qualifiers, they will be diligently practicing for the rest of the school year in preparation for the tournament. However, for some of the others, this was the last big event of their speech career.  Time goes by fast, and as the year comes to a close, every minute is valued before it ends.  After the long weekend, senior Noli  Thai stated that “it was a fulfilling way to end my senior year.”


In June, our fourteen qualifiers will embark on a journey to The National Speech and Debate Championships, the largest academic competition on the world, in Dallas, Texas. With the incredible scores obtained at this tournament, we could not be more proud of our Eagles!





Freshmen Help Earn 22nd Straight League Championship

By Zoe Perez



The Southern California Debate League’s League Championships/State Qualifying Tournament highlighted the first weekend in March.  Twenty-one schools, including Gabrielino, came to California State University Long Beach to compete for spots in the 2019 California Speech and Debate State Championships.


In the pouring rain, our students tried their best to place high enough to qualify. Despite the weather, our Eagles still flew through the rain and soared!


The Screamin’ Eagles have been preparing for this tournament for the past several months. In this competition, there are four to six spots available for state qualifications depending on which event the students are competing in. The student who wins first place gets the title of League Champion in that event. This year, our speech students won four out of the twelve events!  For the first time in league history, the seven finalist positions in the Expository event from the same school, Gabrielino.  We couldn’t be more proud of our Exposers!


Speaking of breaking records, Gabrielino ended the day with thirty-one state qualifiers. Out of those talented thirty-one students who are headed to State, are twelve talented freshmen! It’s a big accomplishment for our underclassmen!  Besides our amazing state qualifiers, we also had seventy-one semi finalists and thirty-three finalists.


This year, GHS had only ten seniors competing, compared to the 50 seniors the previous year. The Class of 2019 has been small throughout their high school careers.  They were part of the first class coming into Gabrielino with decreased space in their schedule for elective classes such as Speech and Debate.   Senior co-captain Stephanie Rubio said, “this year we were really underestimated but we still showed up and gave it all we had.  Seeing all the kids walk out of their rounds proud of their performances showed how our hard work paid off and is what makes State Quals so special”


As a result of the small senior class, the league championships this year had more Screamin’ Eagle freshmen qualify for state than seniors competing!  It goes to show Gabrielino’s speech team is growing every year.


Senior co-captain Jaycob Wahinehookae, who had already qualified for State because of his year-long successes, said, “I felt so happy to see the kids I watched all year long give it their all at State Quals.  It warmed my heart seeing how much they’ve grown from the beginning of the year and their drive to qualify to the State Championships.”


We are proud of our underclassmen and all the potential they have yet to develop. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our team and what our bright students will bring on at the California State Championships in May and in the coming years.

After a long day of pouring rain and the Awards Ceremony, the 110 Gab students who were a part of the State Quals Team gathered in an adjoining lecture hall to celebrate their 22nd straight Southern California Debate League Championship trophy with a picture.


Way to go Screamin’ Eagles!!!


Photos courtesy of Katherine Xie




Happy Speech & Debate Education Day
March 1, 2019


A First For Spring Novice

By Zoe Perez


There’s always a first for everything! Our Gabrielino Eagles as well as nineteen other schools made their way down to Millikan High School in Long Beach for the first time to participate in The Southern California Debate League’s Spring Novice Tournament.


Given the new setting our Eagles were placed in, they were able to adapt and perform just as well as if they were in a home environment.  “We are super proud of all of our novices and junior varsities because they were all super energized despite how early they had to get up,” stated varsity Noli Thai, senior.


The entire layout of the tournament was also new as the judge’s room and the scoring room were placed across campus from each other. This made it harder than usual for the team to run ballots quickly. That was not the only challenge the ballot runners faced. Some of the rooms flooded midway through the day, creating more problems for those organizing the tournament behind the scenes.


Sophomore Eric Zhang mentions, “There was a lot of sweat. I wore two jackets and for the first half of the A pattern [events] I was sweating.”  Due to his hard work and speedy efforts as a ballot delivery runner, he has earned the nickname ‘Amazon Prime’. Running back and forth from each room was a bit of a hassle, but our Eagles made the best of it.  The Screamin’ Eagles ended the day with twenty-six trophies; well over half of the forty awards handed out.


This year, Spring Novice was one of the fastest tournaments the team has been to all season. After the quick but exhausting day, students were able to head home before 4 p.m.


However, a little mix-up with the Eagle’s transportation caused a little chaos for the team. The three buses that the team had, took three separate routes.  Junior Felicia Tang shared her experience stating, “My bus wasn’t able to exit because there was an accident, so our initial route took us an extra forty-five minutes, which wasn’t fun at all.”


The team was separated and students arrived back at Gabrielino at different times. Despite the confusion, the Eagles were able to make the most of the competition and had a successful day. Keep up the amazing work Screamin’ Eagles!


Photos by Katherine Xie




Storming Spring Varsity

By Zoe Perez


It was raining, it was pouring, but our Eagles were soaring! Sheltered by Arcadia High School’s cafeteria, the Screamin’ Eagles began their day in a frantic effort to stay dry before the first round of Spring Varsity. As the day went on, cats and dogs continued to fall unforgivingly from the sky, but our Eagles fought through!

Memories were made, lessons were learned, and suits were soaked. Sophomore Eunice Kay says, “It was a wild ride. The wind was blowing really hard and the rain was pouring. I didn’t have an umbrella so that made everything a little more difficult.” Despite the weather, Spring Varsity turned out to be a success! A little rain wasn’t able to hold our students back. Eighteen schools were present at the tournament; all competing against our Eagles to try and take the win, but once again, our bright students took Spring Varsity by storm.


After a stressful week of nonstop practice, the Screamin’ Eagles had 95 Semi-Finalists, 43 Finalists, six champions and won the tournament for the 20th straight year earning well over 200 points. 


Four of our potential 12 students that had the first “leg” went on to qualify for State Championships. Juniors Felicia, Jaden, and Khin along with Senior Jaycob all placed in the top two of their event and thus earned the second “leg” necessary to become an automatic qualifier for State.


Hard work and focus really does pay off! As Spring Novice and the State and National Qualifying tournaments quickly approach, the Screamin’ Eagles are working harder than ever at practice.


We couldn’t be more proud of our Eagles, and we can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us!


photos by Katherine Xie



Legs Get Excited About Spring Varsity

By Zoe Perez


The Southern California Debate League’s State Qualifier isn’t until next month so speech students are relaxed, and fixing their speeches here and there as they slowly prepare for the big event. However, the twelve Eagles who earned a leg at Fall Varsity have a different mindset. This weekend is a big deal for them. After earning their first leg, they have a huge opportunity to automatically qualify for the State Championships. Legs are earned by placing 1st or 2nd at Fall Varsity, to automatically qualify students need 2 legs. There has been nothing but hard work and dedication from these students who must perfect everything and win over the judges one more time. If their second leg is earned, the students’ diligent work will most definitely pay off. If not, they must focus even more to make sure they secure one of the five spots available at the tournament for the league.


While preparing themselves, discipline is key. Critiques and feedback are critical this week. The character development in HI’s or the convincing tones in OI’s must be taken seriously. Now is not the time to go wild and try or add new, drastic changes to their speeches. Not only are our Eagles working on the persuasion of their speeches, but also finishing within the time limit. Whether they’re big issues or small flaws, they must be resolved in the best way possible. With the help of their peers, our Eagles will make the best out of what they have.


With all the stress that’s been placed upon these students, it doesn’t quite help that Gabrielino decided to try out a new school schedule this week. After working hard on coming up with an efficient schedule, they decided to perform a trial week of block schedule. Every day possesses different classes, which affects the amount of homework that speech students’ have. Nevertheless, we believe our students will pull through the confusion, and balance everything that has been put on their plate.


After giving their all, we are hopeful that all twelve students will earn the crucial second leg and automatically qualify. There is definitely a lot of pressure present, but we know our Eagles will make us proud!


photos by Noli Thai





Logan Leaves Lasting Memories


For the first decade of the program, the Screamin’ Eagles journeyed up The 5 Freeway to Oakland for the James Logan High School National Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament. And in that first decade, it always seemed to rain. The green hillsides, visible through the large charter bus windows, were green and the rest stops were wet or covered in snow. And every January, for the first decade, team members wore trench coats on top of their suits and carried umbrellas and expos cases from classroom to classroom - the walkways were wet and the trek was a challenge.


Conversely, in the past few years, it has been dry. Sometimes there was a threat of rain, sometimes there was none. But the rain never fell and the tournament came and went without any moisture beyond the morning dew that covered the bay area in the middle of winter.


This winter, however, has offered above average rainfall and the drive up the interstate connecting California from North to South was reminiscent of the nostalgic lush, green scenery that befell the students from decades before.  


Luckily, the rain was light during the drive up the 5-freeway allowing the students to enjoy the roadside tourist spot, Casa De Fruita, like so many students before them.


When the 50 GHS speakers exited the bus at school on Saturday morning to begin their two long days of competition – the rain fell. But that would not dampen the energy or spirit of the Screamin’ Eagles. They boarded the bus 370 miles ago with one purpose and one job – to deliver their message through their speeches.


The 2019 James Logan Tournament hosted nearly 100 schools. 10 of those schools are National Speech School of Excellence Award recipients – an award given only to the very best programs in America. It was evident The Screamin’ Eagles were in for a storm of competition.


After enduring 12 long hours of performances in the biting cold and wet Northern California winter– 9 speeches later – the students ended the first day of competition excited that 37 would be competing in the quarter-finals Sunday morning.


With only 7 seniors and 25 freshman and sophomores on the trip, our young team’s success is remarkable – given most of the students had never been to a tournament of this magnitude.


Regardless of their youth and experience, the speakers knew they needed to bring their best if they were to continue their march through the tournament. By late Sunday morning, 14 students broke to the Semi-Final round. By noon, 8 students advanced to the finals with the junior duo Jaden and Khin having the privilege of representing the team on stage at the James Logan Performing Arts Complex in front of nearly 400 spectators.


Nearing the end of the tournament, the team made their annual stroll down the street to a nearby shopping plaza to enjoy their dinner before a long bus ride home to San Gabriel. To bid farewell to the team, the bay area unleashed the biggest downpour of the weekend on our students.


Despite the weather, the team placed 5th overall in the tournament.  Sophomore sensation Sharron took 7th in U.S. Extemp. Placing 6th in Duo was the Duo of Jaden and Khin, juniors. Gabriel placed 6th in Humorous Interpretation followed by Freshman Phenom Melanie in 6th place for POI/Thematic.  Jaycob was 3rd in Dramatic Interpretation and junior Felicia got 2nd in Informative. Winning the tournament in Original Oratory was junior Jaden.

On the way home, rain fell on top the dimly lit bus as the students listened to the reading of the scores. Halfway through the drive, some students finally rested on their pillows, while some students enjoyed the movies. The moon was in full sight welcoming The Screamin’ Eagles back to their nest as the bus arrived late Sunday night in San Gabriel.


The rain came and went but the memories and success remain. While the storms will water and help the hillsides of the 5-Freeway to bloom and grow, the tournament will do the same for our students. The Screamin’ Eagles will blossom and grow into more passionate, more talented, and more successful speakers for the future.


Way to go Screamin’ Eagles!


photos by Katherine Xie and friends








Fall Varsity Brings Christmas Legs

By Zoe Perez


Winter Break and the holidays were right around the corner but speech and debate students were spending their time practicing for Fall Varsity. This time, our Eagles won’t have the comfort of being home because Fall Varsity is the first league tournament of the year that is taking place at a different location, Schurr High School. Despite the preparation for their upcoming tournament, competitors still felt the Christmas spirit drawing near and were eager to finish their final meet before break.


When the phrase “break a leg” is told to someone, it is usually to convey good luck, however, breaking a leg is usually not something competitors want to do at a tournament. Fall Varsity, and the Spring Varsity tournament in February, are chances to earn legs to the State Championships.  One leg is earned by receiving first or second place in one of the 12 different events. After earning two legs, a competitor automatically qualifies for The State Championships tournament in May. This tournament was not just an opportunity for these students to showcase what they have worked on all season, but it was also a chance for them to prove that they deserve their place at the State Championships.


As students made their way over to Schurr on competition morning, some brought with them blankets and extra jackets. The competitors could not help but feel a little chilly. However, the eagles huddled together and surrounded themselves by their fellow teammates, giving themselves the warmth they needed to feel good before their speeches.


Most of the Eagles compete in two events, giving them two chances to speak and two chances to earn a leg for their events. From a character-filled performance to an inspirational public address, competitors were rushing around Schurr to make it to their rounds to impress their judges.


Along with Gabrielino, nineteen other schools headed over to Schurr in an attempt to take the Screamin’ Eagles’ series of wins away from them and claim legs for themselves. However, after putting their all into their speeches, the spirit of giving reached the judges as they awarded Gabrielino with a sweet win at Fall Varsity meet for the 20th time in a row and 10 of the 24 leg positions. Since 1999, Gabrielino has upheld its ongoing Fall Varsity winning streak and in the years to come, they hope to maintain this series of wins up and ongoing.


After a long day, the Eagles head back home with another victory and ready to enjoy their upcoming winter break. As they continue to move on to Spring Varsity, they are determined to take a second leg!

The Future Looks Bright At Fall Novice

By Zoe Perez


As the fall season was coming to an end, Fall Novice was only the beginning as it was a chance for novices to participate their first tournament without varsity competitors. This event was the third tournament hosted at Gabrielino High School after Icebreaker and The Screamin’ Eagles Invitational. After multiple practices and critiques, speeches were perfected and were ready to be presented. It was the novice kids’ first chance to perform their speeches thoroughly and they did amazing.

Thanks the help of the varsities, novices were proud to present their hard work. Varsities worked frivolously this year to develop the novices’ understanding of their speeches and deliver them in the best way possible. 

 “We’ve been helping out the novices for the past couple months and we were really excited to see their work pay off,” explains junior Felicia Tang. “It’s a privilege to see these kids develop and understand their messages and be able to speak out on something that is important to them.”

Since varsities were not competing, they were able to give immediate feedback, critiques, and advice to the novices in between each round. If they were not judging, observing, or helping the novices, varsities were running the judges’ table and managing the concession stand.

 These underclassmen have come a long way from when they first started the school year in August, and the improvement shows.

Captain Stephanie Rubio, senior, mentions, “Seeing them compete against other schools made me realize how much they improved which couldn’t have made me prouder.” 

The passion, effort, and dedication in these students drew out the talent in them and it is undeniable that they will keep improving in the coming years. The competition day ended with the Screamin’ Eagles winning over half of the awards, proving that the future of the team is bright with these young team members.



photos by Katherine Xie


By Zoe Perez


On Saturday Oct. 20, speech members gathered at Gabrielino High School to participate in the Screamin’ Eagles Invitational, more commonly known as, Gab Gab Gab. Eleven schools made their way over to Gabrielino, some from as far as West LA and Orange County. Over 500 students presented their speeches at the tournament, including 155 of our own Eagles. Three of the top five teams in the southern half of California were on the GHS campus for the meet..


Previously, the Screamin’ Eagles attended the Jack Howe Invitational at Cal State Long Beach. Its removal from Gabrielino’s competition schedule led to the creation of Gab Gab Gab. Since the trial run last year, the number of schools attending and entries nearly doubled.


 If there’s one thing our speech team has trouble with, it’s finding the competition rooms. Kids were running all over campus trying to find their event rooms. It didn’t help that our campus grew this past year. Over the summer of 2018, construction workers were finally able to complete our newest addition to the Gabrielino campus: the F building. Since such a large amount of kids came to participate, we were given the opportunity to use science rooms for the first time ever. Despite some confusion, our Eagles and their fellow competitors were able to find the rooms in the nick of time.


 To help the tournament run smoothly, the parents of the speech and debate students contribute their afternoon to volunteer. The concession stand was completely run by parents, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their help. It was a complete success and we couldn’t have done it without them!


  “I came in very prepared, eager to perform, and excited to see others perform,” stated HI event leader, David Campos, junior.  Campos goes on to say, “As an event leader, I felt like the event did really well but there is always room for improvement.”


This year at Gab Gab Gab, we won almost half of the twenty-two events. Our Eagles did a great job at the second annual Screamin’ Eagles Invitational, signaling the start to a phenomenal competition season.


photos by Katherine Xie






Speech Season Kicks Off With The Icebreaker


The 25th edition of the Gabrielino Speech & Debate Team began their year in the very same classrooms they study in all week long as the Screamin’ Eagles kicked off their season at the Icebreaker Speech and Debate Tournament at GHS.


This kick off tournament was created in year four of the program (in the late 1900s) and has been held every year since at Gabrielino.  The idea is to pair seasoned veterans with the newcomers in the program to spend the day guiding them and building unity amongst the team members.  This year’s Icebreaker featured nine high schools and over 500 students from around the area; 150 of which were from Gabrielino.



“This tournament is really about the novice students,” senior Co-Captain K.P commented.  “They can get so confused. I’m really glad we have this to help them out.”


For the fourth year in a row, the Screamin’ Eagles celebrated National Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th) by using the holiday as a theme for the event.  At this year’s tournament, the team added two pirate back drops so students could pose for pictures as mementos of their day.


Senior Co-Captain J.W. commented, “it felt good hearing how excited all our new students were.” 


After four rounds of competition and over 20 judge scores, there was a 3-way tie for first place, a first for the tournament.  Both Gab teams lost the tie-breaker and took home second and third place. 


Junior Lidskin said of the close finish, “it just shows we have a lot of potential, but it wasn’t that good of a day for us.”   In total, six team members were awarded one of the pirate themed awards. 


The 2018 Icebreaker was a fantastic and fun experience to kick off year 25 for the Screamin’ Eagles.  The seniors and the debaters now turn their attention to the large CSU Long Beach Invitational. 


Way to go Screamin’ Eagles


The Screamin’ Eagles have consistently placed in the top 13 schools in America and have been THE top program in the southern half of California for 15 of the past 18 years. Only one or two of those schools ahead of us in America are Title 1 schools (low socioeconomic schools). Speech and Debate is an activity greatly favoring rich students and schools.


Donations help us give all 250 students various opportunities throughout the year and not just a select few.


If you would like to support one of the best speech & debate programs in America, please send check or money order to:
Gabrielino High School Speech & Debate Team
1327 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776


Payable to: Gabrielino HS Speech Team

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