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Tech debate team leaves successful after Deep South tournament

December 17, 2015

 

FREDERIC NELSON

Staff Reporter| fpn001@latech.edu

 

The Louisiana Tech debate team has high hopes for the year after a successful event at Mississippi College earlier this week.

 

The debate team recently competed along with 15 other universities on  Dec. 4-5 in the 2015 Deep South Classic at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi.

 

“Essentially it was more or less a regional competition with other Southern schools,” said Shane Puckett, instructor of Communications. “We competed against schools like Georgia, Texas A&M and Arkansas-Monticello, and we had a team of 16 debaters.”

 

Puckett is going into his ninth year as the director of the University’s debate team.

 

At the tournament there were two types of awards. The Speaker Award and then there was the award for the winner of the debates, Puckett said.

 

He also said the Speaker award was  for the debater who is scored based on how well presented him or she could communicate in a round.

 

The award for the overall winner of the debates is usually given to the designation of quarter finalists, semi finalists and then the winner.

 

Two debaters received quarter final awards–Alexis Bellows, a freshman communications major and Franz Hill. Hill, a senior biology major, also placed as fourth best speaker and Seth McReynolds won fifth best speaker.

 

“We’ve been going to tournaments since early September in places like Canada, D.C. and Colorado,” said McReynolds, a freshman communication studies major.

 

McReynolds said he is a native of Zachary, although he was home-schooled, found his opportunity to become a debater by competing with his local neighborhood high school.

 

“I’ve always had a love for public speaking and at the recent tournament we debated in IPDA (International Public Debate Association which is an impromptu style,” McRenolds said. “It was a great tournament and I was named fifth best speaker.”

 

Bellows and McReynolds have both competed in the novice division this year for Tech, and with the few tournaments they have been apart of, they each have succeeded in all of them.

 

Puckett describes McReynolds as a “very respectable and accomplished debater” when he was in high school. Bellows is a team walk-on and Puckett has described her as being a great asset to the team this year.

 

“It was our first tournament in the British Parliament and during the prep time I was given the opportunity to receive knowledge from my senior debaters to help me during the competition,” Bellows said.

 

Clemson University is the next tournament coming up where the debate team will compete, which debater Hill looks forward to

 

“This year is very important for me knowing that this is my ninth year debating in my career, and also my last year debating with Tech,” Hill said.

 

Tech is going into their next competition focusing on well-known schools in the Ivy League, South and East Coast.

 

“This competition approaching is very important because we are facing powerhouse schools such as Yale, Cornell, and Morehouse,” Hill said. “We treat every tournament as a learning experience and I am very confident in this year’s team.”

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