Debate Team Climbs in National Rankings Following Recent Wins

Coppell — The University of Michigan Coaches Poll released Monday, Dec. 9, puts the policy debate team of Het Desai and Shreyas Rajagopal at third in the nation, but the team says their historic season for Coppell High School is not over yet.

Het and Shreyas, more commonly known on the national debate circuit as “Coppell DR,” is on a big win streak after capturing recent tournament championships at the Glenbrooks (Chicago) and UT Austin. 

“The Glenbrooks tournament is one of the largest and most significant of the year. Many consider it to be the national championship of the fall season because of the number of top teams who compete,” Coppell debate director Dr. Jason Sykes said.

One hundred and forty-nine teams from 25 states attended the tournament in Chicago, where the team from Coppell defeated each of the Coaches’ Poll then the top 3 teams, beating the top team twice in their undefeated run. Shreyas was individually honored as the 8th best speaker, and Het was ranked 15th out of 298 debaters from across the country.

The University of Texas Longhorn Classic offered a chance to close the semester with another victory, and Coppell DR didn’t disappoint, continuing their undefeated run, securing the top two speaker positions, and winning the tournament.

“They have won 23 debates in a row and seem very difficult to beat at the moment,” Sykes said. “We are hoping for an outstanding spring. Good things are happening for our program, and Het and Shreyas get a lot of credit. They’re amazing leaders. The program is expanding, and students are seeing success across several different levels and events.” 

At the UT tournament, sophomore Natasha Banga advanced to the quarterfinals of extemp, a junior public forum team of Shabbir Bohri and Sahil Chiniwala reached the quarterfinal round, and the third year policy debate team of Vanuli Arya and Arnav Kashyap advanced to the round of 16.

“The success of our varsity debaters really ripples through the whole program,” Eric Melin, debate coach at the Coppell High School 9th Grade Campus, said. “Our novice students at CHS9 stand to gain quite a bit by following the lead of our varsity debaters.”

Coppell DR received more good news as they accepted an invitation to attend the prestigious California Round Robin at College Prepatory School in Oakland in February, featuring 16 of the nation’s best CX debate pairs. The team won second place there last year and hopes to improve their performance.

The team hosts the Coppell Cowboy Classic Jan. 17-18 at Coppell High School.

SOURCE Coppell High School

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