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VSU debate team ranks number 13 in nation

Written by: LaMarcus Wilkerson

VSU’s Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team came back to Valdosta late Monday night after traveling to San Diego, Calif. to compete in the Sunset Cliffs Classic.

“(This was) a round-robin style tournament where only one team from the top 16 programs in the nation can compete against each other,” assistant coach Kevin Bryant said. “Never before has VSU been accepted to any round-robin tournaments.” 

The team is led by Bryant and head coach Dr. Michael Eaves.

Dr. Eaves said there are 20 students who are active in the debates. The team got to the quarter-finals with the words of sophomore Chesley McNeil and freshman Maya Weaver, two junior varsity debaters whose skills outweigh their experience.

“There were 47 debate teams in junior varsity,” Dr. Eaves said. “That’s 94 debaters. They give speaker awards to the top 10. Four out of those top 10 (were) Valdosta State.”

VSU went into the Sunset Cliffs Classic ranked 13th in the nation, according to the National Parliamentary Debate Association.  The team earned their rank in late January after finishing first overall at the University of Tennessee’s third annual Volunteer Classic. There VSU competed in two tournament formats, NPDA (National Parliamentary Debate Association) and IPDA (Individual Public Debate Association).

This week the team leaves again to compete at Morehouse College.

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