Written by the students of Fitch High School and trusted since 1928

The Falcon Press

Written by the students of Fitch High School and trusted since 1928

The Falcon Press

Written by the students of Fitch High School and trusted since 1928

The Falcon Press

Sophomores Compete at Debate State Finals


REDDING, Conn. – For the first time in the history of the Fitch Debate Team, two of its members competed at the CDA State Finals.

Sophomores Megan Lacey and Katie Virtue traveled to Joel Barlow High School this past Saturday for the annual Connecticut Debate Association (CDA) State Finals and had a win-loss record of 2-2 in the novice division during the day-long competition. During the 2023-2024 Fitch debate season, the team for the first time in its history, got two spots at the state finals during the competition season. These were achieved at the November and February competitions by Lacey and Virtue respectively.

Lacey and Virtue had a bye in their first round, meaning that it would count as an automatic win for them and that they wouldn’t have to go against another team. They lost to Loomis and Stamford in their second and third rounds respectively. Meanwhile, in their fourth round they won against a team from Farmington.

“I was a little nervous going in, especially because we had a lot less people working on the packet and building our arguments,” Lacey stated. “But once we got the motion and started picking the packet apart, I felt more comfortable.”

The motion, or the subject of the competition that all debaters would have to argue for or against, was “This House would implement a wealth tax.” The term “This House”, is a debate concept used in motions referring to an abstract group that would implement some type of change.

“I liked the motion of the debate,” said Virtue. “I thought it was relatively straightforward which made it simpler to respond to. The arguments with this motion were more logic-based which I prefer….Overall, I am happy with the debate from the actual arguments we created and with our performance.”

For Fitch Debate Coach Rick Pecka, this was his fourth trip to finals. Pecka formerly ran the Debate Team at Oxford High School. During his time there, members of his team earned spots at finals in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Although he had eight students qualifying 2020, no “official” final was held due to COVID. Instead, an online competition was held for qualifying debaters in May.

Varsity debaters from Joel Barlow High School (left) and Blind Brook High School (right) compete in the Varsity Finals.

During the varsity final, Blind Brook High School took on Joel Barlow, which Barlow won. Unlike most competitions, there were five debate coaches who judged this round instead of the regular three.

There were only three undefeated teams at the Varsity level, those being the same two teams that made it to the varsity finals plus a team from Simsbury High School. The same trend of there being only three undefeated teams held true for the Novice level as well, with New Canaan taking top honors in the Novice division.

The Fitch Debate Team will go on to compete at the Yale Osterweis Tournament in New Haven on April 7.

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About the Contributor
Naman Patel, Staff Writer
Naman is a junior at Fitch High School. He enjoys weightlifting, and is a part of the Robotics team. He also is a part of the Debate Team and the Falcon News Video Crew. He enjoys doing video production, computer science, and learning about history. He hopes in the future to become a software engineer who lives in a big urban city.

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