Presenting the match

Battle's Speech and Debate team hosts their first tournament

Jacob DeOrnellas, Reporter

The Battle Speech and Debate team hosted their first tournament on Jan. 18 with 15 schools and170 student competitors. 

Marissa Moore, junior, described how she felt before and during the actual tournament. “I felt very anxious before, during, and after the tournament. I can still hear the remnants of the walkie-talkies going off in my head,” Moore said. 

Nick Sheaffer, senior and captain of the debate team, said there were many different layers to prepare for the tournament. Among those included printing/posting schedules, ordering trophies for the winners, and providing food at the concession stand.   

“It was a little stressful and chaotic, but I was proud of how hard everyone on our team was working to make it run smoothly,” Sheaffer said.

Sheaffer said that the success of the tournament is directly correlated to the students who worked the tournament. Speech and debate members, National Honor Society Members, and Battle Corps were a few of the organizations that made it possible. 

“Our largest strength was having a dedicated group of individuals helping us through the whole thing. Everyone worked extremely hard to get everything together and I can’t give them enough credit,” Sheaffer said.

Brian Corrigan, Speech and Debate co-sponsor, said he was also happy with the results of the tournament, considering it was the first tournament they’ve hosted.  

“Even though it was our first time hosting, our team did a great job of checking in teams and judges, and were successful in directing them around the building,” Corrigan said. 

Sheaffer said that he wished more schools could have participated in the event. Some schools from around Mid-Missouri had to cancel because of inclement weather.

This caused some mishaps with communication, specifically, something he says he hopes to improve in the future.

“Communication is the major area of improvement for the next tournament. Since several schools dropped out, our schedules got messed up and even though we quickly fixed this, it was difficult to prevent confusion of the other schools attending,” Sheaffer explained.

He also added that it was nice hosting a tournament instead of participating in one. 

“While I love to participate in tournaments, hosting one was a nice change of pace. You don’t have to worry about finishing speeches or what your judges will think of them. Instead, you only have to focus on making sure that everyone else is having a good time,” Sheaffer said. 

While Corrigan is happy with how the event turned out, he hopes the tournament continues to grow. 

“In the future, we’d love for more people to join. There are a lot of events that are easy and tailored for new members. Anyone who enjoys debate, politics, acting, or speech giving should join,” Corrigan said. 

The Speech and Debate team meets Tuesdays and Wednesdays in room G214B.