An Undefeated Team in Debate Club


Valentine McNeilly, Staff Writer

This year’s Debate Club members deserve more recognition, especially SHS juniors Grace Goode and Claire Greene–an undefeated team. Debate Club allows students to voice their opinions on important issues while also bettering their critical thinking and public speaking skills. It requires strong communication and an awareness of current events in the world–Goode and Greene have that. 

Goode and Greene have participated in five meets this year–composed of two debates each and one debate for the last meet–making eight debate wins total, while only losing the very last. To Greene, the most important thing to keep in mind while debating is to “always ask for evidence on the other team’s claims and take detailed notes so you don’t miss anything they say.” Goode says it’s important to stay calm, think clearly, and carefully state your position. If you make an error, the other team will call you out on it, so it is vital to be careful with word choice. Their confidence makes them an intimidating team to go up against. Goode tries to respond to every single point the other team says; she also tries to refute their arguments as best she can. Often getting creative when cross-examining, Goode and Greene ask questions when they know the answer will make the other team look bad–a clever tactic. 

Even though they aren’t undefeated anymore, Goode and Greene ended the season with an 8-1 record and were the fourth-ranked affirmative team in the league. They received a trophy as a team, and Goode also received another trophy for being the 4th ranked affirmative speaker in the league. Scituate High School math teacher and debate club facilitator Jonathon Schindler puts much of his time and effort into the club, and it is greatly appreciated by the club members. Greene recognizes that it’s not a club that requires many resources,  so captains Goode and Greene are able to handle the responsibilities well without the administration helping them too much. Last year, there were some bus issues, which resulted in Schindler driving students to meets. “Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches,” says Goode. 

Participating in debate for three years now, the team of Goode and Greene have a well-organized system. They have compatible patterns of thinking and are both able to make up for places where the other one is weaker. Both express talent in their debate skills and are able to demonstrate this talent during meets. For the debate preparation, they tend to decide on a topic together. Each takes separate stock issues (sections of the plan) to write, making the final revisions together. Their system has definitely proved to work well. 

As a debate coach, Schindler says “they are exactly what I want in my captains to represent Scituate.” Goode and Greene did an awesome job this year. Their leadership, especially during a Covid season, was helpful to the entire team. Impressed with their record, Schindler believes “they did a great job in bringing up the performance of the younger members of the team and were a good, receptive voice for help at any time.” In terms of debate performance, their results speak to their work ethic. They were one of the best and most well-prepared teams in the whole league. Schindler said he “wouldn’t be surprised to see them take it another step forward next year as well. It’s not that often that teams are successful as they were.” Schindler added, “Having a senior year to look forward to is a great opportunity for them.”