Three Speech and Debate Minutemen Advance to CA State Championship!

On Saturday, March 11, Cameron Chen ‘17, Matthew Harrington ‘17, and Deven Hollimon ‘19, each earned a spot to compete in the California State Speech & Debate Championships to be held on the weekend of April 28-30 at Arcadia High School. This is the first time that Maranatha has achieved the honor of competing in the California State Championship tournament for Speech and Debate and to have three representatives in the same year is an incredible accomplishment for our school!

Cameron Chen ‘17 who competes in Lincoln Douglas style debate began competing in Debate tournaments during her sophomore year. She developed a reputation in the Southern California Debate League as a skilled debater who opponents never wanted to face. She has earned trophies in nearly every debate tournament that she has competed in during her junior and senior years.  

Matthew Harrington ‘17 has been competing in Speech and Debate tournaments for four years at Maranatha and has earned the most trophies of any Maranatha Speech and Debate student in the history of our school’s competitions. Matthew was impressive from the start. He started winning Varsity Debate tournament in his freshman year. During his sophomore year, Matthew teamed up with Kendall Hollimon ‘16 and together they went on a rampage in the Southern California Debate League winning tournaments and developing the reputation in the league as “The Dream Team.” After Kendall graduated, Matthew teamed up with Deven Hollimon ‘19 to continue to dominate the league in Public Forum debate as “The Dream Team 2.”

Deven Hollimon ‘19 is a promising sophomore who has achieved great success in his first two years at Maranatha. Deven was impressive as a freshman placing in the top 10 out of 150 competitors at the Pasadena Bar Association Speech Scholarship Contest last year. As a sophomore, Deven has achieved one of the highest honors a Speech and Debate student can earn by advancing through the California State Qualification Tournament and earning an opportunity to compete in the California State Championship Tournament.

Speech and Debate Coach Patrick Mesisca ‘92 said, “It has been an incredible experience coaching students in Speech and Debate over the past eight years. Every year is a new opportunity to watch students grow in confidence, skill level, and preparation for whatever God has planned for their future. Maranatha has exceptional students and it is a blessing to encourage them in the area of public communications because I know firsthand that being an effective communicator opens doors of opportunity. While Cameron, Matthew, and Deven have reached a milestone for our Speech and Debate program, there are scores of students who participate in Speech and Debate who have made a lasting impression on my life and for that I am grateful.”

Maranatha High School is offering a three-week summer school session for Speech and Debate starting June 12-30. This is a great opportunity for students to learn lifelong communication skills from an award-winning Speech and Debate coach. Contact the registrar’s office at registrar@mhs-hs.org  or call (626) 817-4031 to sign up before all available spots are filled.



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