Crowder Speech and Debate Boasts Successful Season

Neosho, MO – The Crowder College Speech and Debate Team has had one of the best competitive seasons in recent history capping the season with top community college honors at the National Forensic Association National Tournament. “Being ranked as the top community college in the nation for the first time is a tremendous honor and a wonderful way to end an amazing season,” stated Kristen Stout, Speech and Debate Team Coach/Speech Instructor.


Over the course of the last two semesters, the team has competed in over 100 rounds of competition in 12 distinct events before participating in the national competition.


“At roughly an hour a piece, these students have spent over 130 hours in competition alone. Add to that the countless hours of practice and travel and it becomes clear that these honors are a result of intense dedication on the part of the students”, said Stout.


College speech and debate is not divided by division or collegiate level. “With the exception of Phi Ro Pi nationals, Crowder students compete against primarily 4-year universities,” commented Stout. “They compete against, and often beat, the best! This year alone, we have competed against students from AT LEAST 30 states”. The following is a summary of the accomplishments of the team. 


Regular Season tournaments: 


Online Asynchronous Tournament Series (OATS) – The OATS tournament series, started as a result of Covid-19 travel restrictions, allows students to record their events and have them judged asynchronously. Each competition required original recordings and had a unique set of competitors as a result, our students competed against hundreds of other students from all over the country and received invaluable feedback that prepared them for live competitions.


Team Represented By: 

Julian Garrett (Joplin): After Dinner Speaking; Impromptu Speaking

Tessa Shaw (Carterville): 4th place in Prose Reading; Poetry Reading; Top Novice; 7th in tournament 5

John Winnett (Joplin): Extemporaneous Speaking 


Dale Carnegie Swing hosted by the University of Central Missouri – Hosted synchronously by the University of Central Missouri, the Dale Carnegie Swing had competitors from 17 schools located in 6 states. 


Team Represented By:

MorissaLyn Allen (Seneca): 9th place in Lincoln Douglas Debate 


The DVC Thing – Hosted synchronously by Diablo Valley College, the DVC Thing had competitors from 30 colleges located in 8 states. 


Team Represented By: 


Winnett: 2nd place in Lincoln Douglas speaker and 3rd overall in Lincoln Douglas Debate; 7th place in Extemporaneous Speaking; Persuasive Speaking

Allen: 3rd place in Informative Speaking; 7th place in Extemporaneous Speaking

Shaw: 2nd place in Poetry Reading; 4th place in Prose Reading


Post Season Results


Missouri Association of Forensic Activities (MAFA) tournament hosted by Park University 


Hosted synchronously. The MAFA tournament acts as the state tournament for the state of Missouri. Students competed against many large schools in Missouri including Missouri State, University of Central Missouri, Truman State University, Webster University, Southwest Baptist, as well as students from other states. A total of 16 schools were in attendance from 6 states. 


Crowder College was awarded the Bill Cue Community College Top award.


Team Represented By: 

Winnett: Parliamentary Debate (NPDA); Informative Speaking; Extemporaneous Speaking

Allen: Parliamentary Debate (NPDA); Oratory; Extemporaneous Speaking; informative Speaking 

Garrett: 7th place-After Dinner Speaking; Poetry Reading

Shaw: Poetry Reading; Prose Reading; Informative Speaking; Program of Oral Interpretation; Impromptu Speaking. Earned 2nd place in the Pentathlon (student must compete in at least 5 events to qualify).


Phi Ro Pi National Tournament hosted by Southern Illinois College (hosted live in St. Louis)


Phi Ro Pi nationals is the national tournament for community colleges. Students competed against 41 schools from places such as California, Florida, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho and more. This is the premier tournament for community college students. The Crowder College team earned the Silver Medal Sweepstakes award for Overall Team Performance (Top 10 in the Country).


Stout received the Region 5 Collie-Taylor Fellowship Award for Coaches.


Team Represented By: 

Winnett: IPDA debate; Extemporaneous Speaking; Informative Speaking; Impromptu Speaking.

Shaw: Prose Reading; Poetry Reading; Program of Oral Interpretation; Informative Speaking

Allen: IPDA debate; Extemporaneous Speaking; Informative Speaking; Impromptu Speaking

Allen received a Bronze award for her performance in IPDA debate placing her in the top 30 in the country.

Garrett: Impromptu Speaking; Poetry Reading; Speaking to Entertain

Garrett was awarded the Warren-Dahlin Fellowship Award for region 5 because of his competitive spirit, friendly demeanor, and overall dedication to speech and debate. Only one student per region is recognized making him only one of ten students in the country to receive this award.

Crowder College Speech and Debate Team: (L-R) Julian Garrett, Tessa Shaw, MorissaLyn Allen, John Winnett