Government Team places second at first competition of the year
Government Team had its first district competition of the year on Dec. 2. Although they were the only students from the FUHSD, the team still felt confident of their abilities.
The Matadors arrived at Techmart Center in Santa Clara, where they competed against students from Yerba Buena High School, Irvington High School and Washington High School. While other schools had already competed in other competitions this year, this was the first for MVHS with a program that was introduced just last year.
"Personally, I felt that me and my unit were very prepared going into district competitions" senior Mihir Shah said. "We had unit meetings every weekend and really made [Government Team] our top priority."
Although they were ready to compete, some students stressed that Government Team has not been focused solely on competitions. For example, the team had attended civic conferences at UC Berkeley and participated at a practice moot court at UC Hastings
"We’ve been learning a lot about the other aspects of government, like civic responsibility," senior Nishant Srikanthan. "[The] competition has only been a secondary aspect."
Students were given three broad questions to prepare a comprehensive speech beforehand. At the competition, the judges revealed which of the three questions they would be tested on. The topics depended on whichever of the six units the student was in. Questions ranged from the best way to achieve constitutional change, to an analysis on the Founding Fathers’ process for creating the system of American Federalism. After the speech, the judges drilled each unit on a variety of impromptu follow up, based on the unit’s topic
At the end of day, the team found out that they had taken second place, behind Irvington High who had previously placed at Nationals held in Washington DC. Like last year’s team, Government Team is vying for another wildcard spot that could bring them to the state level competition. The spot is given to the best school that placed second at the numerous district events around the state. Shah is confident, however, that they will get the wildcard nod.
"Last year’s team got the wild-card, but they were nowhere near as prepared as we were on Tuesday," Shah said. "We have all come so far from last year."