East Rockingham High School Forensics and Debate team celebrate competing in state competition

The team made it all the way to the state competition and one member qualified for the national...
The team made it all the way to the state competition and one member qualified for the national competition.(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 12:18 AM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The East Rockingham High School forensics and debate team celebrated its winning season Tuesday night.

The team made it all the way to the state competition.

”I was truly shocked anytime I had won something and moved up a level I was flabbergasted because I have never experienced something like this before and I felt so accomplished not only doing this for me but doing it along with all these people I care about,” Rowan, an East Rockingham student on the forensics and debate team said.

Students tell how they joined the forensics club thinking it was focused on crime scene investigations and science, and although not the case, they say they are glad they joined the public speaking after-school program.

“We went to States and I had such a great time being around all these amazing people and finding something that I truly love,” Rowan said.

The team’s accomplishments got so much attention, East Rockingham High School has now made debate an elective class offered to all students along with the after-school program.

“With the generation that we have coming up who don’t do face-to-face conversation very often and they do it very well because they don’t have enough practice, debate and forensics have become even more important,” Bethany Stabler, coach for the Easting Rockingham forensics and debate team said.

Students spoke at the awards banquet Tuesday night about how much stepping out of their comfort zone to do debate and forensics has helped them grow in their high school careers.

”It’s okay to work really hard at something and hone your craft and to do hard things. Struggling in a supportive environment is really important and these kids were able to do that,” Stabler said.