Debate team and their road to nationals

By Olivia Bettencourt/Staff Writer 

The Missouri Valley College debate team has had an outstanding season. They have competed in many state and national tournaments and have done well. Valley competed in the Pi Kappa Delta Nationals tournament last weekend and is preparing for its final competition. 

The season has not been an easy one. The debate tournaments have many schools attending. Schools in attendance have been as small as Missouri Valley, but as big as schools in the Southeastern Conference and Conference USA.

“That’s good for us because Valley gets to compete against other big schools like the University of Alabama and Western Kentucky,” said head debate coach David Bowers. “That’s how we train for these [national] qualifiers.”

Bowers states how, during the regular season, they “train for big tournaments like these” by participating in the open invites. Going up against the “big dogs” is a great advantage: “We were able to do so well; it shows how hard we’ve worked.”

The team’s work efforts have paid off this season; they did well at this last tournament. Freshman Seth Carter moved on to the quarterfinals for debate and placed fifth as a speaker. 

Freshman Sidni Hunter advanced to the semifinals for persuasive speaking. She is Valley’s first-ever debate competitor to advance to a national individual events elimination round. She is thrilled about how far the team has come. 

“We have seen a lot of success as a team,” said Hunter. “We’ve been able to win many team efficiency awards due to the success of each person that goes.”

Hunter also states a reason the team does so well is that they use the notes from past judges and tournaments. They read the ballots of what went well and what needs work and “mold our pieces and cases based on that.”

The team is preparing to compete in the NFA National Tournament in April. They are using the momentum from this successful season in hopes of winning it all. 

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