Simpson’s speech and debate team wins tournament early in the season

Photo courtesy of Spencer Waugh

Photo courtesy of Spencer Waugh

by Alyssa Craven, Staff Writer

The Simpson College speech and debate team started their season on a high note, winning their first parliamentary debate tournament at Southwest Baptist University

According to a press release sent out by Spencer Waugh, head coach of the debate team, senior Sarah Baker and freshman Casie Redhage won the tournament. In the final round they won against Bethany Lutheran on a 3-0 decision. They finish the tournament with a record of 7-2. Sarah Baker was named second best speaker at the tournament. Two other teams also attended the tournament.

 “It’s always a great feeling to win the first tournament of the season, especially because it really sets the team up for the rest of the year,” Baker said. “We often use these first tournaments as learning experiences for our new team members.”

The speech and debate team won Pi Kappa Delta Speech and Debate National championship in 2016 and 2018 and is hoping to win a third this year.

“Nationals this year is in New York, so we won’t be able to bring as large of a squad as we did last year because of the distance,” Waugh said.

Baker said she plans to attend the national tournament this year for her senior year.  

“This year’s nationals will be a great last event for all the seniors because we have quite a few graduating this year,” Baker said.

According to Waugh, the speech and debate team currently has about 90 members participating in speech and debate. Last year there was about 75 members.

“The debate team has been the best thing to happen to me at Simpson. Knowing that each tournament is the last time I will compete at that school is sad but makes me more motivated to do well and end my debate career off strong,” Baker said.

The debate team has another 15 members participating in Mock Trial.

“Mock Trial is going really, really well,” Waugh said. “Mock Trial started at Simpson about three years ago. It practices the same time as debate does on Tuesday nights.”

Even though the speech and debate season has just started, the team is excelling.

“We have probably the strongest speech team we have had yet, and we also have many great additions to the debate side,” Baker said. “I think big things will come out of the team this year, and I can’t wait to see what those are.”