Bergen County Debate Invitationals Conclude 2018-19 Debate Season


William Goldman (’19) and Aidan Kluger (’19)

The Bergen County debate season came to its end with the most important tournament of the year—the varsity debate invitational. As in previous years, Tenafly invited the top teams from every participating school to this final tournament and performed well.

Tenafly’s top two debate partnerships—Aidan Kluger (’19) and Will Goldman (’19), as well as Evan Zlotnick (’19)  and Giovanni Ponzio (’19)—participated in this tournament. The ranking was determined by adding the the pairs’ total speaker points and debates won at tournaments. The highest ranking debate teams from select schools ultimately attended, which included Northern Valley Old Tappan High School and Bergen County Academies. While each school is typically only allowed to send one pair, as the hosting school, Tenafly got permission to allow two pairs to participate in the debates.

The overall 2018-19 debate season went well for Tenafly, with the team being ranked second in the county. However, there was additional pressure on Tenafly’s performance, as this tournament would determine who took the place of the best debate team in Bergen County. Zlotnick said, on walking into the tournament, that they “didn’t know what to expect since we only started debating last year.”

The Tenafly Debate teams had an exceptional performance at this year’s invitationals with debaters Aidan Kluger and Will Goldman winning first place in the tournament. Kluger also achieved third place in speaker points and Goldman fourth. This officially established the pair as the best debaters in the county. Kluger said on his win: “The results of the tournament were awesome. The finals were so close, as they should’ve been. There was so much mutual respect between us and the BCA team, and we both debated with intensity and dedication. Will and I are grateful to have concluded the 2018-2019 season with a win for Tenafly in the county championship after an excellent season finish of overall 2nd place in the league.” Fellow debater Zlotnick said, “We were very happy with our record of 3-1 [three wins one loss] and [that] Will and Aidan won the tournament and league.”

This is an impressive feat for Tenafly High Schools’ debate program, as this recent victory marks the second year in a row the Tenafly Varsity Debate Team has won the annual invitational tournament. Kluger and Goldman ultimately defeated Bergen County Academies’ top varsity team in the final round of the tournament.

Tenafly looks forward to another successful year of debate for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.