NWC News Desk

NWC debate team ranked second in nation

Posted December 20, 2006

NWC debate team ranked second in nation
Posted by: NWC News Desk - December 20, 2006

P O W E L L, W y o. - A warning to parents who don't want their kids to argue: sending them to Northwest College may increase their argumentation skills. NWC student debaters are once again among the best in the country at winning arguments.

The Northwest College debate team is ranked second only to El Camino College among community colleges across the nation, and 10th overall, which includes a ranking list of 229 colleges and universities participating in parliamentary debate. This places NWC above regional institutions like the University of Wyoming, Denver University and Rocky Mountain College in Billings. NWC is also leading forensics powerhouses like Northern Arizona University, the United States Air Force Academy, the University of California-Berkeley and William Jewell College.

Duane Fish, one of the NWC forensics co-directors, said the team's ranking is due in large part to

"a seasoned group of sophomores who have continued to advance, as well as some excellent new students who made an immediate impact."

Bob Becker, the other co-director, noticed that NWC "students have been practicing hard this year. Practices have been better quality and more productive. That has paid off when we've gotten to the tournaments."

Becker and Fish both agree that a large part of the success this year is due in part to having another coach. "The addition of Jeannie Hunt has made it easier to handle the 22 people who have debated for us this year," Becker said.

Those 22 team members debated a variety of topics that included electronic voting, MySpace.com, presidential power, oil consumption/importation, stem cell research, relations with North Korea and China, to name a few.

Before the 1990s, the NWC Forensics Team rode near the top of the national rankings for Cross Examination Debate (CEDA) just about every year it sent students across the nation to argue. When the CEDA debate style lost favor to a rising Parliamentary Debate category in the 1990s, NWC started following the national trend, forsaking CEDA competitions for the new, livelier parliamentary style. That meant leaving the tightly organized and well-structured CEDA association for an emerging, more loosely organized National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA). For many years, NPDA couldn't always keep up with collegiate debate competitions in order to rank teams on a national level. That's changed in the last few years, and NWC is once again the college to keep an eye on when it comes to national debate rankings.

The latest ranking is the highest yet for the NWC debate team. Members are: Charlie Cordova of Byron; Brett Delaney, Jared Bressler, Sara Holwegner and Traci Samara Hill of Casper; Nolan Goubeaux of Cody; John Brooks, Douglas; Cole Wandler, Gillette; Chelsea Hampton of Greybull, Benjamin Brown and Bryce Cornatzer of Lovell; Lilli Schoer, Billings, Mont.; Loni Sallee, Roundup, Mont.; Miranda Maye Morris, Bozeman, Mont.; ReAnna Kero, Red Lodge, Mont.; Matthew Sharp, Newcastle; Caiti Barski, Grant Langdon, Kristian Satterlee, Timothy Hansen and Zack Eckerdt of Powell; Brandon Rhodes, Bellingham, Wash.; and Vinh (Alex) Nguyen of Vietnam.