Debate team returns to national competition

Matzen poses with her trophy at the competition.

Hunter Clark

Matzen poses with her trophy at the competition.

After months of preparation, the debate team headed to a national competition on the weekend of Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. Schools from over 30 states across the country came to participate in the George Mason University Patriot Games. 

The competition consisted of 4 major types of debate: policy, Lincoln-Douglas, public forum and congressional. Considering this was one of the first national debate competitions held in person in three years due to COVID-19, senior Maggie Matzen was worried about the turnout of the event.

“This was our first one back in person since COVID so a lot of it was really exciting,” Matzen said. “I was the only one who traveled for debate previously. Even though everyone else on the team has been competing for two years they have never had the experience of actually going so a lot of them were really nervous.”

Matzen, the club’s captain, has been a part of the debate team since her freshman year. Her debate covered whether the People’s Republic of China should care more about the environment or sustainability. Matzen was overall very satisfied with her performance but was a little disappointed when she placed second overall, as the year prior she placed first.

“It was pretty good,” Matzen said. “I had a winning record in my preliminary round and then I won, so it broke to double octo finals, so then I won like five in a row.”

The Clover Hill Debate Team had at least one student representing the school in each form of debate outside of policy debate. Many of the team’s members joined for a fun extracurricular activity and ended up really enjoying what the club had to offer. Junior Randy Ashie joined the debate team through a friend and plans to stay.

“This is my second year in debate and I will definitely be continuing it through high school,” Ashie said. “One of my friends just brought it up and I was bored so I decided to go and try it out.”

In addition to Matzen’s second place finish, sophomore Matthew Wang went to the quarterfinals for duo interpretation and the semifinals for impromptu.