North Lamar High School senior Zach Huffman debated his way to the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Student Congress State Champion. This is the sixth state medal Huffman has won in seven state tournaments.
The University of Texas in Austin was host to the preliminary rounds of the UIL State Tournament on Tuesday, January 8, with the final rounds being held at the Texas State Capital on Wednesday.
The top three students from each of the 20 Educational Service Centers (ESC) from across the state of Texas advanced to the state competition. Of the 60 preliminary finalists,18 advanced to finals after debating legislation for seven hours. Finalists then debated another seven hours before Huffman’s scores earned him the state title.
Students debated topics such as the border wall, withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Yemen, funding national parks, and providing foreign aid to Central American countries.
“The Congress functions just as the state and U.S. Congress functions, debating and passing (or not passing) the legislation that they have written,” said North Lamar speech and debate coach Kristi Hodgkiss. “Students are judged on their speaking skills, their debate skills, and their political skills.”
In 2016, Huffman placed second at state in Cross Examination (CX) Debate. In 2017, he placed second in CX Debate and Informative Speaking. Then in 2018, he placed first in Informative Speaking and fifth in CX Debate.