In a span of seven days, the William Jewell debate squad traveled from Colorado Springs, Colo., to Warrensburg, Mo., resulting in two more Championship round appearances and a Tournament Championship for a team and an individual debater. Also during the week, the National Parliamentary Debate Association released the organization’s updated rankings, placing William Jewell College as the second best college team in the nation. The Association’s rankings include all competing colleges and universities, including other liberal arts colleges and large universities.
Colorado College Tournament: October 28-30
Three Jewell teams traveled to the Colorado College tournament in Colorado Springs. All three teams advanced to the Elite Eight round--more than any other school. Spencer Shanks (sophomore, Kearney, Mo.) and Tyler White (junior, Independence, Mo.) narrowly lost their Elite Eight round. The team of Andrew Potter (senior, Buhler, Kan.) and David Dingess (senior, Aurora, Colo.) placed third. Kyle Mellon (junior, Norman, Okla.) and Matt Reisener (junior, Indianola, Iowa) advanced to the Championship round, where they took second place. Despite bringing only three teams, Jewell placed third as a squad and Mellon, Dingess, Reisener and Potter all placed in the top 20 individual speakers.
University of Central Missouri Tournament: November 4 -6
Traveling to Warrensburg, Mo., the Jewell squad dominated the competition, culminating in the team of Shanks and White winning the tournament championship without losing a single round. The first-year team of Brit Isbell (Monett, Mo.) and Wes McKellar (Kansas City, Mo.) advanced to the Final Four round and the teams of Rodney Chowning (sophomore, Belton, Mo.) and Michael LaCombe (senior, Sioux City, Neb.) and Stephen Ahal (first year, Chesterfield, Mo.) and Rosemary Loehr (junior, Kansas City, Mo.) debated in the Elite Eight round.
Ahal also won the Top Speaker award out of all individual debaters. Jewell had five of the top 10 individual speakers including White, Shanks, Isbell and Ben Boggs (first year, Lee’s Summit, Mo.).
“In all of my years debating and coaching, I have never been a part of a squad that has the level of talent from senior to first-year as this one,” stated Kevin Garner, assistant debate coach. “There is an atmosphere of excitement and optimism every time we go to a tournament, knowing that any one of our teams can win the whole thing.” Out of the six tournaments attended, Jewell had a team in the Championship round in four of them; three different Jewell teams competed in the Championship round, demonstrating the depth of the squad as a whole.
The squad will finish the fall semester of competition at the Washburn University tournament in Topeka, Kan., this weekend.
William Jewell College is committed to bringing together talented students and gifted faculty mentors within a vibrant community sparked by a rigorous and intentional liberal arts curriculum. A full range of personal and professional development experiences are presented by the selective national liberal arts college’s location within the Kansas City metroplex of more than two million.