About Debate

For the Debate Schedule, Debate Parents Club Memberships, or Debate Trip payments, click the tabs above.
For the upcoming debate banquet, click "Parents Club" above.




Jerry Crist, Head Coach -
Murvin Auzenne, Public Forum Coach -
Brock Scheller, Assistant Coach -
Peter Turrentine, Assistant Coach -
Chris Castillo, National Circuit LD Coach -
Anson Fung, National Circuit PF Coach -
Carole Day, Parent Club President -

2017-2018 Team

The 2017-2018 Strake Jesuit Debate team was the largest in school history with over 60 members on our Lincoln Douglas and Public Forum teams, combined.   In addition to tournaments in Austin, Dallas, La Vernia, Des Moines, Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago, and Atlanta, our members also traveled to the Blake Tournament, Lexington Invitational, Harvard, and Stanford Invitational.

28 Strake Jesuit debaters qualified for the Texas Forensics Association (TFA) State tournament in La Vernia, TX, a first in school history.  This was one of the largest contingents of debaters from one school in the state.  Lincoln Douglas (LD) debater, senior Matthew Chen, was crowned the Champion of the State of Texas.  LD senior debaters Drew Thornburn and Charles Li tied for 9th place, Vincent Liu placed 17th, and Neville Tom, Josh Herrera, and Wyatt Hatfield tied for 33rd in the state.  The Public Forum debaters made a strong showing and were led by Daniel Wang and Pierce Hollier who finished 3rd, Caden Day and RJ Shah finished 9th, and Joseph Dowdall and Joseph Donowho finished 16th.

The Strake Jesuit Lincoln Douglas team is one of the most competitive teams in the nation.  Senior Matthew Chen, in addition to being the top LD debater in the State of Texas, is tied for 4th in the nation with the most bids to the prestigious national Tournament of Champions.  Drew Thorburn and Joshua Herrera also qualified to the Tournament of Champions.  Two senior LD debaters, Matt Chen and Drew Thornburn qualified to the National Speech and Debate Assoc. tournament hosted in Ft. Lauderdale this summer.  On the local circuit, the Strake Jesuit LD team’s debaters were a leading force in the Houston debate community winning numerous tournaments across the state.  The LD boys accrued countless state points, speaker awards, and are highly respected as a top team in Texas and the nation in Lincoln Douglas.

The Strake Jesuit Public Forum (PF) team has grown into a nationally dominant team.  The PF team accumulated a total of 10 TOC bids by making it to late elimination rounds at major national tournaments. The senior team of Daniel Wang and Pierce Hollier received 5 bids to the TOC and are the champions of both the Glenbrooks and Katy Taylor tournaments.  For the first time in SJ history, Wang-Hollier advanced to elimination rounds at the TOC.  Additionally, the teams of Joseph Donowho and Joseph Dowdall and Caden Day and RJ Shah qualified for the TOC, setting the Strake Jesuit record for PF teams qualifying for the esteemed national tournament.  Donowho-Dowdall co-championed at the University of Houston tournament and Wang-Day won the Memorial H.S. tournament.  Wang-Hollier and Donowho-Dowdall qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association tournament.  The Strake Jesuit PF team has also been enormously successful around the state and on the Houston circuit, winning numerous tournaments, speaker awards, and state points.  

2017-2018 SJ Debaters

The debate team members are among the highest academic achievers at Strake Jesuit. Nearly all of the SJ Debaters have been selected for the National Honor Society.

The majority of the SJ debaters have earned the Strake Jesuit Honor Roll; the Principal’s Honor Roll; and have earned 2nd Highest Honors.  Several debaters have also been awarded with the Highest Honors for Academic Excellence. 

SJ Debaters are members of the Key Club, Symphonic Orchestra, SJ Band, Young Democrats, Young Republicans, Stats Club, Crusader Crew, SJET, and Strake Jesuit Magis (magazine).

Nine SJ Debaters are National Merit Scholar Commended students and/or National Hispanic Scholars

Junior LD Debater Vincent Liu earned a perfect score on the ACT.

SJ Debate Graduates

The Strake Jesuit Debate Team is proud of its graduates.  In the past few years, our graduates have attended:

  • Princeton
  • Harvard
  • Northwestern
  • Amherst
  • Rice University
  • Duke University
  • The University of Texas at Austin: Plan II Honors, McCombs Business School, Cockrell School of Engineering, and Pre-Pharmacy School
  • The University of Chicago
  • NYU, Tisch School of the Arts
  • Boston College
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard Law School
  • University of Chicago Law
  • The University of Houston
  • Texas A&M
  • Baylor University
  • Kansas University
  • The University of Tulsa

Schedule 2018–2019

Debate Practice is held daily, 3:00pm – 4:25pm, in the Debate Classroom and in Agee Hall. Practices tend to run longer at the beginning of the season.

No Limits Summer Debate Camp: June 3 – 14, 2019.

Strake Jesuit Debate Tournament: December 21 – 23, 2018.

Debate Banquet: April 16, 2019. 6:30pm.

Tournament Schedule

NOTE: Dates for away tournaments are tentative. Not all schools have finalized their dates.



Aug 31 – Sep 1

Tournament at Foster High School (Season Opener)

Sep 7 – 8

Tournament at Grapevine High School (in Dallas, TX; First travel tournament)

Sep 8

Tournament at Dawson High School

Sep 14 – 15

Laird Lewis Invitational Tournament (in Charlotte, NC)

Sep 14 – 15

Tournament at Elkins High School

Sep 21 – 22

Tournament at Cy Woods High School

Sep 21 – 24

Tournament at Valley High School (in Des Moines, IA)

Sep 28 – 29

Tournament at Memorial High School

Sep 15 – 17

Tournament at Greenhill School (in Dallas, TX)

Oct 12 – 13

Tournament at Bellaire High School

Oct 12 – 13

Tournament at St. Mark’s School (in Dallas, TX)

Oct 19 – 20

Tournament at Plano West High School (in Dallas, TX)

Oct 19 – 20

Tournament at Klein High School

Oct 26 – 27

Tournament at Clear Lake High School

Nov 2 – 4

Tournament at Apple Valley High School (in Minneapolis, MN)

Nov 2 – 3

Tournament at Spring Woods High School

Nov 9 – 10

Tournament at Katy Taylor High School

Nov 17 – 19

Tournament at The Glenbrooks (in Chicago, IL)

Nov 16 – 17

Tournament at Cy Creek/Cy Fair Swing

Nov 30 – Dec 1

Tournament at Alief Taylor High School

Dec 7 – 8

Tournament at University of Texas (Austin, TX)

Dec 14 – 15

Tournament at Jersey Village High School

Jan 4 – 5

Tournament at Dobie High School

Jan 11 – 12

Tournament at University of Houston

Jan 12 – 14

Sunvitational Tournament (in Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Jan 12 – 14

Tournament at Harvard Westlake (in Los Angeles, CA)

Jan 18 – 19

Tournament at Mayde Creek High School

Jan 25 – 26

Tournament at Lamar High School

Jan 25 – 26

Barkley Forum Tournament (in Atlanta, GA)

Jan 27 – 28

Tournament at Lamar High School

Feb 1 – 2

Tournament at Texas City  High School

Feb 8 - 9

Tournament at Seven Lakes High School

Feb 15 - 16

Tournament at Clear Springs High School

Feb 15 - 18

Harvard University Tournament (in Cambridge, MA)

Feb 21 – 23

South Texas National Qualifiers at Bellaire High School

March 14 – 16

TFA State Tournament (Houston)

March 29 – 30

Kandi King Round Robin 

April 26 – 29

Tournament of Champions (in Lexington, KY)

June 16 – 21

National Speech and Debate Association Nationals (in Dallas, TX)

Parents Club


The Strake Jesuit Parent Debate Club provides support to our SJ Debate Team. SJ Debate is a unique extra-curricular activity in that there is no "off-season" — the boys meet, practice, and have tournaments nearly every month of the school year. Most weekends, the boys and their coaches are debating either locally and/or at an out-of-town venue. Your membership donations help our excellent coaches provide the best possible experience for our debaters. More specifically, our dues provide dinners (and a few breakfasts) for tournaments every weekend and contribute to general, incidental team expenses. Dues also cover dinner tickets for your son and two family members to the spring debate banquet. If you opt to register only, without contributing dues, that’s fine – every member of the team and two guests are included in the banquet, regardless of the membership level you choose.

$250.00 – Standard Membership

$0 – Registration only – please make certain to register so that you are included in debate emails and we know you’ll be at the banquet.

If you have any questions, please contact Carole Day (2018–2019 Debate Parents' Club President) at or 713.818.1554.

Debate Banquet

This year's banquet will be held in Moran Dining Hall at 6:30pm on Tuesday, April 16.

Your Debate Parents dues/registration included your son’s banquet ticket and two family members’ tickets. Additional tickets are $20 — please purchase using the form below.


Beginning with the second day of school, our coaches have poured their time and efforts into our boys’ debate team.  They’ve spent nearly every weekend and every day after school working with the team. At the banquet, the debate parents present the coaches with a cash gift to show our appreciation for their endless support. Please use the form below to contribute to this gift from each of us and our sons.

Banquet Tickets and Gifts

Parents Club Memberships

Debate Parents Club Memberships

Debate Trip Payments

Beginning in Fall 2018, we are conducting a trial run to accommodate credit card payments towards debate travel. In previous years, only checks could be accepted. 

Parents and students can use the secure payment form below to make payments. Prior to a trip, Mr. Crist will message students and parents with the Trip Name, Departure Date, and required payment amount. Enter that information below to make payment. After you pay, you will receive email confirmation.

We know that being a debate family comes with considerable sacrifice in time and money, and we very much appreciate the opportunity to travel with your sons as they excel in their debate careers. If you have questions about travel expenses, please contact Mr. Crist (