Glen Rock’s Skilled Debaters


Photo Credit: Dan Fleiss

A debate in session

by Josh Stein, Media Editor

Glen Rock has issues. Along with Pascack Hills, Pascack Valley, Ramapo, Ramsey, Northern Highlands, Frisch, and Paramus.

Every month these schools meet together to debate various plans and topics. Recently in the last Varsity debate at Glen Rock, Glen Rock’s Matt Cosgriff and Steven King placed first out of all the attending schools.

“Matt and Steven came in first, so they did really well,” says debater Dan Fleiss,”(which) was really impressive, we had a bunch of other teams go 3-1 and 2-2 so I thought the debate was good.”

Last year, the debate team, led by seniors Dan Stein, Neil Sarna, Miles Richardson, David Ott and Willem Slump, were the top in the league. In fact Dan Stein and Neil Sarna’s record for the year was an outstanding 22 wins to 2 loses, one of the best in the league. The debate year ended with Dan Stein and Miles Richardson losing in the debate cup to Pascack Hills debater Jake Greenstein.

“That intense debate left with the class of 2013. I don’t want to say we are less passionate about debate,” says Fleiss, “I think we were slower getting into this year, than last year which was on varsity for so many years already.” This year, with the luck of the class of 2013 gone, Glen Rock seems to be slowly recovering as shown at January’s debate.

“For the next debate its always about research, being prepared for the overall topic, any new information that has come out in the news because often times that has impact especially on the varsity debates,” says debate coach Mr. Ecochard.

And that’s exactly, as Mr. Ecochard described, what Steven and Matt did.

“At first our plan was sorta, it didn’t have any real reason to be implemented, but we worked really hard to find a way to go forward and implement our plan. So I feel our work on the plan made this debate a really successful one we had,” says Debater Steven King.

These four wins now puts in the race for the debaters cup at the end of the year as explained by Fleiss, “but now we are picking up paces especially how Steven and Matt did at the last debate with a 4-0, and the idea is that we are hoping to qualify for the coaches cup which is at the end of the season.  We need a certain number of 4-0s for our debates to get there, so right now I think our team is in third place with Pascack Valley and Pascack Hills and we are hoping that in 3 debates we are able to pick up some more 4-0s and hopefully beat out Pascack Valley at least for second.”

Not only did Stephen King and Matthew Cosgriff did well at the Glen Rock Varsity Debate, Sondra Nieradka and Esther Kim won 3rd place team award but got bumped out of the award ceremony because only one team from each school can win an award.

Debate is very hard. You have to stand up and speech, argue and think on your feet. But Matthew Cosgriff says, “It can show you confidence you didn’t know you had a lot of times because what a lot of debaters will say before they go into a debate on a debate day they will be feeling very nervous there not sure how they are going to do that day so they get up  but once they get up and do that first affirmative or first negative, all that stress washes away, and its absolute confidence.”