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Nat Quals

14 Screamin’ Eagles Qualify for Nationals in Louisville

Katelyn Corona

It has been two years since schools were shut down and the Screamin’ Eagles started performing at online tournaments. Prior to the 2022 East Los Angeles District Tournament, our team already had two auto-qualifiers. Seniors, Melanie Hsiang and Gabriel Frank McPheter autoqualied for the 2022 National Tournament by making it to the semi-final round at Nationals last year.. 

The months leading up to March 11th were soaring with in-class performances, dozens of peer critiques, and intense coaching with graduated Screamin’ Eagles. 

The season has been filled with several league meets, invitationals, and competitions. Another notable tournament was Nat Quals Debate on March 19th. That Saturday, Senior, Daniel Candia earned himself a two-way ticket to Louisville in June! 

After two weekends of performances, the team has a total of 14 Screamin’ Eagles headed to the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament hosted in Louisville, Kentucky this summer! This will be the first time the NSDA has held an in-person nationwide competition since 2019! Ten of our 14 wonderful students headed to the Ohio Valley are Seniors; that is two times more than last year! 

“I am so excited about Nationals. After doing speech and debate since I was 9 years old, this is going to be my last tournament ever. It’s bittersweet but this community has made me the woman I am today” said Co-captain Luccia Yacoub. She has qualified for the tournament twice prior to this year, both times in International Extemp. 

First-time Nationals attendee Alden Do said, “ In the National Tournament, I look forward to seeing all the peers I have competed against in online tournaments all across the nation, and to finally see them perform in person is a blessing/privilege that not a lot of people can say. My priority is to make everyone laugh when I go to Louisville. I cannot wait to show these people what I have been working on for so long and be able to represent Gabrielino.” 

The remaining seniors traveling to Kentucky are Daniel Candia in Congress, Nick Cao & Joe Lee in DUO, Gabriel Frank McPheter in United States Extemp, Melanie Hsiang in POI, Alex Lai & Geraldine Ly in DUO, and Victor Lucas in Drama! 

Gabrielino High School made history at the event by winning the speech portion of the tournament for the 11th consecutive year in a row. This would not have been possible without our amazing coaches.  Their dedication to this team and constant motivation led the Screamin’ Eagles to this victory. 

In preparation for the summer tournament, our students are working hard at weekly event practices,  one-on-one coaching with alumni, and in-class run-throughs with their peers. 

Team Picture


League Champions 25 Years in a Row

By Katelyn Corona

On February 26th, 2022, the State Qualifying Tournament took place at Montebello High School in Montebello, California. With over 16 schools competing, and over 350 student entries, it was an incredible day. 

The morning started bright and early at 6:30 am! The morning was jam-packed with filling event goody bags, copious amounts of hairspray, and heartfelt pep talks from the event leaders. And don’t forget the swarms of students running through their speeches to perfect their tone, levels, and blocking. 

When the first round began at 8 am, competitors swarmed toward their rooms and wished “good luck” to their friends! For many students, the first performance was incredibly nerve-wracking, exciting, and fun! Unfortunately, for some seniors, the 8 o’clock call-time marked the beginning to an end. The Southern California Debate League’s State Qualifying Tournament is the last competition of the season for many of our seniors. For others, it is the time that propels them to the 2022 California High School Speech and Debate Championships. 

In between each of the five rounds, students munched on the delicious Chanos Mexican and Oaxacan cuisine, debriefed with their peers, and posed for pictures! One of the most memorable moments was the Semi-Finalists announcement. Students gathered in their different event groups and team leaders read aloud the names of their teammates who advanced to the next round.  With each name, the air rang with cheers of excitement and pride. Gabrielino had a total of 68 students performing in the semi-final round! For many competitors, the semi-finals were incredibly anxiety-inducing but a wonderful experience to learn from. 

Two hours later, the finalists were posted! The event leaders gathered their teams together and announced each student that would be competing in the final round! There was an unforgettable amount of clapping, crying, and cheering blended together to create one of the most beautiful moments we have ever seen. There were a total of 31 Gabrielino Screamin’ Eagles in the final round! The seniors began giving pep talks and hyping up their peers before their final performance of the day. 

After an emotional full day of performances, spectating, and a surreal amount of taco consumption, all the competitors gathered in the beautiful Montebello High School auditorium. The award ceremony began with the seniors in the league.  One by one, each school called up their senior team members who had been on their team for the entire duration of their high school career.  The coaches from each school placed the famous, “Four-Year Senior Medal” on their veteran students.  

After over 100 four-year seniors were recognized, the qualifiers for the 2022 State Championships were announced.  27 Screamin’ Eagles were named State Qualifiers.  Those 27 will join their six teammates who auto-qualified last month to compete against the best performers and speakers California has to offer.

For the 25th year in a row, The Gabrielino High School Screamin’ Eagles was awarded the Southern California Debate League Championship with over 200 points.

A huge round of applause to everyone that competed at State Quals! We are so incredibly proud of you and all of your accomplishments. We cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next! 

Stay tuned for more on what the Screamin’ Eagles are up to! 



debateSix More Qualify in Debate

The Screamin’ Eagles followed up their 25th S.C.D.L. Championship by qualifying four more students during the second and final weekend of qualifying for the 2022 California State Speech and Debate Championships.

The sophomore / freshmen Public Forum teams of Sophia Pu & Aaron Situ and Anson Law and Marco Cisneros-Farber will be joining the senior / junior Policy Debate teams of Daniel Candia & Gabriel Sundarmoorthy and Kelly Hoang & Violet Wang.


In total, GabSpeech has six debate teams qualified for the State Championships next month.

A member of the Screamin’ Eagles coaching staff commented, “(Daniel) Candia and Sunny D (Sundarmoorthy) have done an incredible job leading our debaters.  Coach Graca has trained them very well.”

Way to go Screamin’ Eagles



“Melmo” Wins Harvard Tournament

By Shirley Wang

On the weekend of February 19th to 21st, Harvard University hosted the 48th Annual Harvard National Forensics Tournament. It was held online and as a result, this is the 2nd year Gabrielino Screamin’ Eagles were able to attend. The competition had over 2,700 entries from 420 schools spanning from 41 states. 

In any normal year, The Harvard Forensics Tournament would be held in Cambridge on President’s weekend. It is an enormous and reputable high school speech and debate tournament respected throughout the country. The competition provides opportunities for students to compete in 12 different events against students from all over America. Competitors had been waiting for this moment for so long and with all of their hard work and practice, they finally got a chance to display their extraordinary performances. 

The Screamin’ Eagles performed in four preliminary speech rounds: an octo-final round, a quarter-final round, a semi-final round, and a final round. Senior co-captains, Gabriel Frank-McPheter and Melanie Hsiang both represented GabSpeech in the prestigious final round.  “Frank” placed sixth in Extemporaneous Speaking and “Melmo was the champion of Program Oral Interpretation.  Other Eagles who broke after the preliminary rounds: Bryanna Quach in both Dramatic and Program Oral Interpretation, Gabriel Sundaramoorthy in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Alden Do in Humor!

Great job, Screamin’ Eagles! Keep up the amazing work! Next up for the team is the State Qualifier at Montebello HS where the team will compete for their 25th straight Southern California Debate League Championship




Stanford Becomes Palms Becomes Champions for GabSpeech

By Connie Yuan 

The introduction of the Palm Classic Invitational arose after Stanford University drew back from hosting their own annual tournament that Gabrielino had previously attended in 2021. Prior to last year, the first time the Screamin’ Eagles had ever participated in Stanford was more than a decade ago in 2010. Perfectly placed during the Superbowl and Valentine’s weekend, this online competition lasted two days from Saturday, February 12 to Sunday, February 13, 2022. 

1,200 entries from over 170 schools competed, representing 26 different states. This tournament held 4 preliminary rounds, followed by finals - unless the number of competitors in the event called for an additional semi-finals round. 

The Screamin’ Eagles had a total of 13 entries with 10 entries placing within the top 15 and 5 entries placing in the top 5. Captain Gabriel Frank-McPheter took home the championship in Original Oratory, while also earning the runner-up in National Extemp. Senior Megan Chan placed 2nd in Original Interpretation and sophomore Sherry Shi followed close in 3rd place.  Sherry also placed 9th in Dramatic Interpretation. Senior Priscilla Chin placed 4th in Informative and junior Mini Marsh Wang placed 7th, while also earning 11th place in Humorous Interpretation. Senior Luccia Yacoub placed 6th in International Extemp. Sophomore Bryanna Quach placed 15th in Dramatic Interpretation. 

“After two years of doing invitationals online, I went into [the tournament] more experienced and less stressed,” said Megan so she could intently watch the small number of competitors in her rounds. 

Subtract the typical freezing temperatures of speech tournaments in the morning and a long bus ride to Palo Alto, and we’re left with one of the most competitive competitions in the nation - all taking place from the comfort of our own homes. Whether it be legend Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Kendrick Lamar or even a Valentine’s sweetheart, nothing could distract Gabrielino Speech from showcasing their hard work this weekend. Sleigh Eagles!




Spring Novice Is Back In Person

By Shirley Wang

The Southern California Debate League’s 2022 Spring Novice Tournament is back in person again this year! It was another busy weekend because the Spring Novice is the week after Spring Varsity. However, the participants who perform have struck their performance with delicate movement. 

Students were excited to perform in person since the Spring Novice Tournament last year was held online. Our Novice, first-year competitors, and Junior Varsity, second-year competitors, finally got a chance to show off their SN 2performance in person after putting a lot of their effort into practice. 

The tournament was supposed to be held in Long Beach Poly High School but they declined to host the competition because of COVID—our ultimate antagonist. Thankfully, the Screamin’ Eagles stepped up and decided to host the competition in person. Almost 300 participants from 11 schools participated in the contest. The day was short but smooth; it had 3 rounds and no final. 

Each of our event captains dedicated their time to helping the students to get ready for the competition. They have offered plenty of chances of the coaching session and long hours of practices every week and that’s why our Novice and Junior Varsity did super-duper well in the tournament. 

SN 3GabSpeech had 42 award winners. Eight were first place in their event. Congratulations to our Spring Novice Champions! They are Angelina Chung (Original Advocacy), Veena Sundaramoorthy (POI), Ashely Lau (Informative), Marco Cisneros Farber (I.X. and SPAR), Aaron Situ (U.S. Extemp), Wang & Le (DUO), Jimenez & Pena (DUO), and Bryanna Quach (Drama). “It was really cold and I felt like I did really well for DUO rounds. I was really energetic. I feel like my Drama round progressively got better as the day went on. The third round was my best Drama round,” DUO champion, sophomore, Thao Le said.

Great job Eagles! Keep up the good work!




team photo

Six Auto-Qual for State at Spring Varsity

By Katelyn Corona

On January 29th, 2022, Gabrielino competed at Spring Varsity hosted at Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California. This tournament is the second Southern California Debate League varsity competition of the year. This season has been non-stop! Just a few months ago, the team participated in the highly anticipated Fall Varsity! 

This tournament was incredibly competitive with over 18 schools present, 396 total entries, and 14 events! 

The morning started with dew on windshields and shivers in skirts and dress pants. The weather encouraged teeth chattering run-throughs and shaky hand gestures. 

SV 1

Though, the unseasonable weather was not the highlight of the day. With three preliminary rounds and one final round, the Screamin’ Eagles accumulated a total of 172 sweepstakes points- more than the 3 runner-up teams combined! With our exceedingly high score, Gabrielino took home the Team Sweepstakes for the 23rd year in a row! 

Continuing the tradition, competitors were given the opportunity to earn a “leg” to the 2022 California High School Speech and Debate Championships. Legs are given to those who place 1st or 2nd in their events at both Fall Varsity and Spring Varsity. 


This year, a total of 6 Gabrielino High School students automatically qualified for State. Senior event leader Halina Kwan was awarded her well-deserved leg to state in Original Advocacy. Three-time national qualifier Melanie Hsiang  is taking her POI! Hilarious Nick Cao and Joseph Lee are taking their action-packed DUO! Tiny but mighty Luccia Yacoub debated through the competition and will be competing in International Extemporaneous at the State Championships. Highly competitive Gabriel Frank-McPheter is taking State by storm with United States Extemporaneous. Those who did not receive a leg will have a chance to earn their spot at State Champs by competing at the State Qualifying League Championships this month! 

Not only did Gabrielino take home the team sweepstakes, six legs, but they were also made memories to last a lifetime. Senior, Connie Yuan competing in Informative described the tournament to be, “fun, cold, and short.” She continued by SV3saying that “the tournament was a great way to end of the season for those who are not going to State Quals.” Senior, Lam Chung recalls “the joy of seeing the culmination of seeing the novice and varsity performances after weeks of strenuous practice.” 

Congratulations to everyone who competed at Spring Varisty and a huge round of applause to those who worked hard to earn their legs! See you all at the 2022 California High School Speech and Debate Championships! 




Logan logo


The Magic of MLK

By Lam Chung

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, James Logan High School held their James Logan National Invitational Speech & Debate tournament on January 14th and 15th of 2022--MLK weekend. Held online, James Logan High School hosted 107 schools from 18 states with a total of 1200 entries--22 of which were from the Gabrielino Screamin’ Eagles Speech & Debate Team. 

In any normal year, the James Logan National Invitational Speech & Debate tournament would be held in person. The Screamin’ Eagles would have traveled to Oakland, where the high school is located, by a six hour bus ride and stayed in a hotel throughout the weekend of the tournament. During this time, members would have been able to create and share bonding moments, making this invitational a highly anticipated one. This year, with the barrier of an online screen, Logan, as the invite is often shortened as, lacked the luster it once had; however, the GabSpeech Team members were determined to bring the magic back.

Senior Co-Captain, Priscilla Chin, states, “Competing online is a very different energy and experience than in person, but we were still able to get a good number of people. There were 2-3 hours in between rounds, so we were able to have a lot of team bonding time as well.” In  Zoom “Team Rooms,” competitors and even other members who were not participating in the tournament created their own special edition of Logan memories and although they were not necessarily the same as they were in person, they were still bonding moments nonetheless. With the Zoom “Team Rooms” allowing members to relax and laugh in between rounds, the energy minimized due to being online was restored--the magic was brought back.

After competing four preliminary rounds on Saturday and having performed through a quarter, semi, and final round on Sunday, Gabrielino had 3 Champions for the first time in Gabrielino’s history at the James Logan Invitational! Melanie Hsiang championed Program Oral Interpretation, Gabriel Frank-McPheter placed first in U.S Extemporaneous Speaking, and Luccia Yaccoub won in International Extemporaneous Speaking. Proving that despite the hardship, The Gabrielino Screamin’ Eagles will always persevere, and that in itself, is magical. 



Fall Var logo

Fall Varsity Is Back In Person

By Katelyn Corona 

Fall Varsity is a highly competitive and anticipated tournament for many teams all across the Southern California Debate League. Students were incredibly eager for the first in-person varsity tournament of the season. The last fully in-person varsity tournament was on March 7, 2020. 

2021 Fall Varsity took place at Arroyo High School in El Monte, California. There were over 100 Gabrielino entries, taking up a sixth of the total 600 entries at the tournament. Fifteen local schools competed at the meet. 

Plenty of practicing and talking to walls went into preparation for Fall Varsity. The captains prepared the team with long hours of practice, speaking drills, and creating great memories. 

One tradition that has stayed constant since 2004 was the ability to earn “legs” for the State Tournament. Those who place 1st or 2nd in their events at Fall Varsity and Spring Varsity receive a “leg” which is an automatic entry to the State Championships. This year Sofia Chaves, Alden Do, Lauren Chiou, Joseph Lee, Halina Kwan, Jordan Liu, Melanie Hsiang, Gabriel Frank McPheter, Luccia Yacoub, Nick Cao & Joseph Lee, Logan Tan, Ivan Curiel-Mejia, Kayla Tran, and Kate Hamamoto earned legs. 

After performing in three guaranteed preliminary rounds, Over 40 Gabrielino students advanced to the final round. There were four finalists in Humor, six in OPP, two in Original Advocacy, four in OI, four in Original Oratory, three in POI, three in U.S. Extemp, two in International Extemp, five pairs in DUO, five in Informative, and two in Drama. 

For the 22nd year in a row, the Screamin’ Eagles won the tournament with a whopping 189 points. The total score was more than the next 4 runner-up schools combined!

Amazing job Eagles! Keep up the good work! 




Seniors Flex At Glenbrooks

Before the world came to a stop in 2020, it had been a decade since The Screamin’ Eagles competed in the Glenbrooks National Speech & Debate Tournament.   The tournament took place for 40 years at several high schools in Chicago, Illinois.  Six of those years, GabSpeech had students entered in the tournament.  But no Gabrielino students had made the cross country trip since 2010.  

For the second year in a row, The Glenbrooks were held online.  And for the second year in a row, Gabrielino competed along with almost 2000 other students from over 260 high schools across America.  The seniors knew it was a great opportunity and they jumped at the chance to compete with the best of the best in the country.  

Senior Daniel Candia explained, “since the Glenbrooks were online, we were able to send more people because there aren’t any travel expenses for virtual tournaments.”

Each of the speech events held four preliminary rounds on Saturday and then the outrounds on Sunday.  Even though the tournament started later than normal to accommodate those on the West Coast, it was still early.  Speakers were in their virtual rooms before 7:30am on Saturday.  “After a year of competing online at tournaments in earlier time zones, it’s gotten much easier,” senior team Co-Captain Gabriel Frank-McPheter said.

Seven Screamin’ Eagles - all seniors - advanced to the rounds on Sunday.  “This is my last year, my last chance to compete in the Glenbrooks,” senior team Co-captain Luccia Yacoub commented.  “Making it to Sunday means I get to compete for at least one more day and more round.  I get to add to my senior season.”

After seven rounds of competition, the seniors continued to prove the Class of 2022 is one of the best classes in the 28 year history of GabSpeech.  Senior Alden Do placed 14th in Humor.  Seniors Nick Cao and Joe Lee placed 8th in Duo.  Seniors Karyme Pena and Vincent De Marco placed 6th in Duo.  Seniors Luccia Yacoub and Gabriel Frank-McPheter placed 8th and 6th, respectively, in Extemporaneous Speaking.

“There were over 100 extempers,” Gabriel explained.  “It would be easy to get lost in that number.  For Luccia and I to make it out of that pool and then continue to advance throughout the tournament is incredible.”

After successes this weekend, the Screamin’ Eagles added yet another speaker to the 1500 point club.  Vincent DeMarco became the 60th student (and third from the class of 2022) in Gabrielino’s 28 year history to achieve the highest level of points from the National Speech & Debate Association.  Vincent is 53rd on the all time list.  Luccia Yacoub moved into the top 20 and rounding out the trip of seniors is Gabriel Frank-McPheter, now second all time after passing Class of 2013 superstar, Anna Diep.  With over 2300 points “Frank”, as his teammates call him, is less than 200 points behind GabSpeech all time point leader Alexandra Singleton, class of 2017.

The team now takes a break for the Thanksgiving holiday and will focus its attention on being in person for the Southern California Debate League’s Fall Varsity Tournament in December.  

Way to go Seniors and all the Screamin’ Eagles!

Fall Debate

A Leg Up At Fall Debate 

The Southern California Debate League’s 2021 Fall Varsity Debate Tournament was held online again this year.  It once again allowed former team members from all over the country to judge the tournament.

Twelve Screamin’ Eagles spent their Saturday debating with their partners either from separate locations or together safely at someone’s house.

All Gabrielino’s entries were in the two person debate events, Public Forum or Policy Debate.  The team is made up primarily of freshmen and sophomores with a few juniors and seniors to lead the way.  

After four preliminary rounds, three of the original six entries made it to the final round.  Senior Daniel Candia and his partner, junior Gabriel Sundaramoorthy placed 5th in Policy Debate.  Sophomore Sophia Pu and her partner Veena Sundaramoorthy placed 6th in Public Forum.  The senior/freshman Public Forum team of Gabriel Frank-McPheter and Aaron Situ won the tournament by going undefeated and winning all their preliminary rounds and all three judge ballots in the final round.   

By placing in the top two of their event, Gabriel and Aaron both now have a “leg” toward qualifying for the 2022 California State Championships.  If they place in the top two again at the league’s Spring Varsity Debate Tournament in January, they will have both legs and be automatically qualified for State and not need to compete at the League Championships at the end of February.

What may have been the best part of the day may have been the last minute substitution the team had to do when one of the competitors had a family emergency come up.  Senior Kelly Hoang quickly suited up, opened her laptop and stepped in to partner with sophomore Garrison Chan.

“Kelly stepping up was awesome,” said debate co-event leader Daniel Candia.  “Someone suggested Kelly fill in, so we contacted her and she stepped up big time.  We were lucky the tournament was online.  If that was at a high school, I doubt Kelly could have found a ride there in time.”

The team wasn’t together physically for this meet, but they certainly were on the same page and acting like amazing teammates regardless of their physical distance.

Way to go Screamin’ Eagles.  Their next competition is the Glenbrooks (Chicago, IL) National Invitational Speech & Debate Tournament taking place online later this month.

thumbs up

Solar Energy at Fall Novice

First, the Icebreaker tournament was outside casual.  Then the Gabrielino Invite had live, in person, final rounds.  The next logical move was to do an entire tournament outside, in full speech business attire.   Behold,  the 24th Southern California Debate League (SCDL) Fall Novice at Gabrielino High School.

ChaosThe league combined both the Novice (first year) and Junior Varsity (second year) divisions, since neither had competed live in a SCDL Tournament.  Over 300 students from 15 high schools performed and judged around benches, outside classrooms and under solar panels.  Sophomore Nicole Diep said, “it was great to perform in front of people after being online for a year.”  

Typically, speech events are broken up into two patterns.  The three A pattern rounds would shirleyhappen in the morning while the B pattern rounds occurred in the afternoon.  This year, to shorten the day and possible exposure time, all events ran at the same time.  There was a little more time in between the rounds for competitors and judges to bond, create memories and eat some of the amazing food prepared by the Screamin’ Eagles’ Parent Boosters.

“I had a fun time,” sophomore, Kailey Trinh, said.  “I got to watch some really good performances - in person!”  One of the team’s competitors in Impromptu said, “I had never been over by the new groupmusic building before.  All my rounds were outside, under the solar panels.  I didn’t even know we had solar panels by the football field.  I talked about solar power in one of my speeches.  It was funny, because, you know, we were all under solar panels.” 

The Screamin’ Eagles had a great home field advantage and won 10 of the 14 events offered.  “We do well at Fall Novice every year, but this year was much more lopsided,” one of the coaches commented.  “Our kids did the Icebreaker outside and had to have class outside for the first month of school because the air conditioning wasn’t working in the classroom.  So they were used to being outside.”   All those hot days outside paid off in a weird way.”duo

The Screamin’ Eagles will compete next at the Southern California Debate League’s Fall Varsity Debate Tournament next weekend.

Good Luck Screamin’ Eagles!



GabGabGab Is Live Live Live

By Katelyn Corona 


For the first time in two years, the Gabrielino Invitational returned with a modified in-person tournament! Traditionally GabGabGab, as the team calls it, consists of three preliminary rounds and one final round. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the preliminary rounds and novice final rounds took place online, while the varsity finals took place in person! 


The interpretation final rounds were hosted in the Goodson Theatre and the public speaking finalists performed in the new multipurpose room! 


The Goodson Theatre has been the home of the famous annual Gabrielino Screamin’ Eagles Speech and Debate showcase for the last 17 years, but this year, students from all across Southern California were invited to perform on the stage! The seats of the theater were safely filled with spectators, friends, and family. 


The multipurpose room, previously known as the band and orchestra room, hosted speech rounds for the first time.  The competitors and the fans who joined them, enjoyed the new set-up.  


The morning started off slow with hair and makeup and handing out event goody bags. Throughout the day in between rounds, students ate snacks purchased from the concession stand and spent time bonding over shared experiences! Marco Cisneros-Farber described the tournament to be “a fun learning experience that was great for novices.” For some team members, this was their first GabGabGab and for the seniors, this was their last. 


ThienSince only two of the eleven final rounds occurred at the same time, the tournament finals lasted all day long.  Much like The Finals at Nationals, students could watch multiple final rounds in one day.   Friends and family could come for 90 minutes to watch a specific round.  Awards for both varsity and novice divisions were handed out at the end of each round so everyone could immediately learn the results.  


The day was wrapped with event photos, packing up the food bar, and congratulating those in the final the 26 varsity students who performed in the final rounds and the 32 novices that performed their final rounds online.


Awesome job Eagles! Keep up the amazing work!

SCDL Covid Waiver

A Second Chance to Compete at Yale

By Katelyn Corona 

Aside from being National Cheeseburger Day, Sept 18th, 2021 also serves as the 29th Annual Yale Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament. With the absence of travel costs, Gabrielino was able to compete at the event for the second year in a row! Due to continuous Covid-19 restrictions, the tournament was held virtually; ultimately allowing the Screamin’ Eagles to take part in such a prestigious event. 

The highly anticipated meet hosted 279 schools, almost 1400 entries, 2000 competitors, and 900 judges from 33 states all across America. The Screamin Eagle team included Violet Magallanes, Bryanna Quach, Julie Qian, Luccia Yacoub, Celine Ma, Gabriel Frank-McPheter, Marco Cisneros-Farber, Anson Law, Juan Jimenez, Aaron Situ, Daniel Velasquez, Alden Do, Karyme Pena, Ava Doron, and Alex Lai & Geraldine Ly. 

Last year, the team only had 6 total entries.  This year, it has more than double-doubled to 17! Students from all different grade levels and events were able to compete! Freshman Extemper Marco Cisneros-Farber described the tournament to be “an amazing learning experience because I got to see speeches from some of the best competitors in my event.” 

While constructing speeches for the meet, the team resumed weekly in-person after-school practices. Senior Co-Captain Luccia Yacoub described the preparation to be, “hard work and fun practice.” 

After weeks of practice and  two days of giving and watching performers from all over the country, the tournament came to an end. Congratulations to Luccia Yacoub for progressing past preliminary rounds!

Keep up the awesome work eagles! Stay tuned to hear what the team does next! 


Icebreaker awards


Icebreaker Is Back and In Person

By Katelyn Corona 

After a year and a half of competing in bedrooms, backyards, and bathrooms, tournaments have finally returned to in-person with the 2021 Icebreaker Speech & Debate Invitational!   The struggles of camera angles, internet connections, and lighting have been lifted off competitors’ shoulders! 

The annual classic held at Gabrielino every year since 1997, came back after missing 2020/covid.  To ease back everyone back into the groove of in-person meets, the meet changed a bit.  Students performed improvisational events outside and in casual attire. 

 Returning Screamin’ Eagles once again paired up with students newest to the program in order to give the novices the lay of the land of how in-person tournaments operate. For some students, this was their first non-virtual meet. Competitors participated in three rounds including Improvisational Duo, Spontaneous Argumentation (Spar), and Character Debate. For the first time in history all Icebreaker rounds took place outdoors to comply with COVID-19 regulations. Icebreaker people

Freshman Extemper Marco Farber-Cisneros described the tournament to be, “fun, Energetic, and Collaborative!” Senior Co-captain Megan Chan described it as, “relaxed, a good way to start the new season, and high energy.”

Once again, the tournament was Pirate-themed because the date of the meet is so close to National Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Pirate goblets were awarded to the top six duos.  All visiting schools got to take home a pack of Icebreakers gum and mini pirate chest filled with Jolly Ranchers for all their team members to enjoy.  

Senior Vincent Demarco and Junior Gabriel Sundaramoorthy teamed up with their freshman siblings for a once-in-a-speech career opportunity to perform together at a tournament! It was siblings for the win at Icebreaker! Team Sundaramoorhty placed third and Team Demarco won the tournament! 

That Icebreaker number 24 in the books! Great job eagles!  

The team now goes back online in order to face tough competition immediately at the Yale University National Invitational Speech & Debate Tournament.  

Nats Logo

Screamin’ Eagles Ready For National Championships

By Jeremy Tai


Although speech this year has drastically changed during the pandemic, Gabrielino’s speech team has remained strong and resilient. Over the last year since the 2020 National Tournament was moved to an online format, the Screamin’ Eagles have been working hard. This year’s Nationals was supposed to be hosted in Des Moines, Iowa, home of the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA).  However, it will be live online due to covid-19 safety concerns.


The NSDA website proclaims, “after months of preparation, rigorous qualifying tournaments, and five days of prestigious National competition, the best of the best will be crowned champions in front of a live audience of thousands and tens of thousands more streaming the events online”.  The Screamin’ Eagles have 23 students qualified for Nationals this year.  


Starting with Duo Interpretation, we have 4 teams entering in the tournament:  first Vincent Demarco & Karyme Pena, Chris Torres & Kate Hamamoto, Logan Tan & Ivan Curiel-Mejia, and finally Geraldine Ly & Alex Lai.  Entering in Informative we have our seniors Kelly Ong and Lauren Hamamoto, with this being their final tournament, they are sure to put in their all. 


Qualifying in Program Oratorical Interp is Melanie Hsiang and two seniors, Bianca Lua and Kailey Wong.  This is Melanie’s, or Melmo’s as the team refers to her, third time qualifying for Nationals. She was automatically qualified for this year’s tournament  by virtue of advancing all the way to the National Semi-Final Round last year.   She ended up fourth place in all of America for 2020.  She states, “since we’re performing at home, the familiar environment creates a sense of security. I wouldn’t say I’m stressed yet, because I’m confident I can get my things done.  The environment is different and in person you get to meet new people, you can feed off of others energy, more energetic than me alone in my living room, I get to talk to others about where they’re from.  I would much rather have an in person tournament.”  


Entering in Dramatic Interpretation is junior Trisha Tanaka.  This is her second year to qualify for Nationals. Trisha competed in Drama the year before and she is excited to return with a new speech. 


Three Gabrielino Extempers are competing this year.  Junior Luccia Yacoub qualified in International Extemporaneous.  Junior Gabriel Frank McPheter and senior Sharon Liu qualified in United States Extemporaneous.  Each of these speakers have been competing in high level tournaments since their freshman year.  Between them, they will have been to Nationals seven times.  


GabDebate is also well represented.  Kelly Hoang & Annica Wu, Gabriel Sundaramoorthy & Daniel Candia and competing in Policy Debate.  Junior Celine Ma will be competing at Nationals for the first time in Congressional Debate and Junior Michelle Mimi Li is making her first trip as part of a multi school debate team entered in World School Debate.


The debate team has been setting all kinds of records this year. This year's debate has two National and two State qualifiers in policy debate, and two State qualifiers in Public Forum Debate. In fact! This year, Debate has doubled the number of policy teams who ever qualified to Nationals. 


With this being the last tournament the speakers have been working as hard as they can to prepare. The whole team supports each individual by watching and critiquing their speeches. The Screamin’ eagles are a team and those who are not going to Nationals will support those who are all the way. 


Nationals will be from June 13-19.  To find the livestreams go to the website


Best of luck to our Eagles, especially our seniors.

For more past speech stories, click HERE

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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