Stamford High’s New Debate Legend

SHS Senior to compete at State Championship for his final time


Doricko proudly posing with his First Place Speaker Trophy from the November 11 Tournament.

Isabella Sorial, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: A version of this story was published in the Stamford Advocate. 

Stamford High Alumnus Samuel Aldershof walked out of our black doors with remarkable achievements under his belt. He was awarded first place speaker and second place team at the Connecticut Debate Association State Championships in 2015 and left a legacy that many young debaters to aspire to reach. Because he was very invested in the debate team, he couldn’t just leave Stamford high and dry. He chose to designate potential champions to take over in his absence.

A debater Aldershof has high expectations for is current senior Augustus Doricko. “I like to think maybe my wins got other people more invested in debate as a competitive sport. If it had that effect on anyone it was probably Gus; he definitely goes into a tournament gunning for first place.” To Aldershof’s delight, on November 11 Doricko was awarded First Speaker at the November Connecticut Debate Association Tournament, qualifying for the State Championship this March. This spring is his last chance to compete in the State Championships before he heads off to college next year.

Doricko began his debate career with a rocky start, not making it to states his freshman year while he competed in novice. Despite this, he was elevated to captain his sophomore year. Doricko was awarded his first trophy in October of 2015, winning Second Speaker in varsity. At the time, Doricko was very frustrated because he didn’t have a consistent partner. He decided in December of 2016 to become partners with current junior Simmi Agarwal. The two had a successful run together before she moved to North Carolina this past summer. In the March 2017 tournament, Doricko was awarded Fourth Speaker and took Agarwal to states, where the two won Fifth Team.

Now, in his senior year, Doricko plans to continue his new partnership with sophomore Aron Ravin, who says it is awe-inspiring to be able to debate with Doricko (Ravin was Sixth Speaker on November 11, missing out on a trophy by just one spot). Ravin said that he was very excited when he learned he was going to be debating with Doricko. Ravin compares their relationship to that of an older and younger brother and says that he has learned a lot from Doricko.

Jeremy White, Stamford High’s debate coach, also commented on Doricko’s win.

Isabella Sorial
Mr. White showcasing Aldershof’s First Place Speaker Trophy from the 2015 State Championship.

Similar to Doricko, Aldershof came onto the team with a rocky start. In fact, Aldershof’s growth inspired Doricko to become the debater he is today. According to White, “Gus took all the good parts of what Sam brought [to the team] and made it more and more accessible to more debaters.” This had a big impact on the team, which White and Doricko agree is doing very well.

According to Doricko, “freshmen are winning trophies–everyone is improving and moving toward varsity.”

A common theme for all successful debaters, according to White, is that the kids who excel have lots of background knowledge. They are “generally well-read and well-versed in current events.” White said that, since his freshman year, Doricko has always been a likable, charismatic leader.

Doricko says he is “really proud of the team and himself for getting as far as [they] have under the leadership of Sam and Mr. White.” He also says that he became a better public speaker through debate and that his ability to speak to others has opened many doors. He mentioned that he has always had political interest, but another big reason he joined the team his freshman year was 2015 alumnus Devin Miller who, as Doricko put it, “rapped and played guitar simultaneously to advertise the debate team during [his] freshman orientation.” Doricko has a lot of faith in this year’s team and is looking forward to states.