Speech & Debate: Another Victory


Last weekend, ACP’s Speech and Debate team took part in the Chandler Prep Academy tournament and were victorious. They successfully accomplished to bring home the 2nd place team trophy! Congrats, Knights! Individually, ACP’s debaters placed very well:

Lincoln Douglas Debate (Novice)

1st place: Zoe Soderquist

3rd place: Justin Ngo

Lincoln Douglas Debate (Varsity)

2nd place: Parsa Amini

Public Forum Debate (Open Division)

3rd place: Sharmila Nimbkar and Damien Rivera

Original Oratory Speech

4th place: Yoojin Han

5th place: Natasha Zimmerman

Informative Speech

4th place: Natasha Zimmerman 

5th place: Abriel Knipmeyer

Duet Acting

1st place: Skylar Hudson and Ananya Lakhotia

5th place: Nicole Lee and Orchee Syed

6th place: Abriel Knipmeyer and Alex Lee

The Knights’ major success in tournaments so far is partially due to Mr. Rumsey’s teachings and influence. Mr. Rumsey is the Speech and Debate Coach at Erie and is loved by the students on campus. Mr. Rumsey was able to give us a little more information on debate tournaments and what goes on.

Q: How many tournaments has our team placed in so far?
A: We’ve gone to all six tournaments this year and we have placed in five: 2nd, 5th, 4th, 1st, and 2nd. Also, we’ve taken 68 individual trophies this year.

Q: How challenging are the tournaments? Can you describe a typical tournament?
A: Tournaments are extremely challenging. We are usually competing against 30 and 50 schools, including big schools like Hamilton and Desert Vista. There are approximately 15 events, and each event usually has 25-60 competitors.The competitions are set up by one hour “rounds” that are held in classrooms throughout the host school.

  • Friday night there are four Preliminary Rounds of debate.
  • Saturday morning there are three Preliminary Rounds of speech and drama. There are six in a classroom, and the judge ranks them 1-6.
  • Saturday afternoon are three to five Eliminations Rounds for those who advanced in all events. The Elimination Rounds are a sudden death format. If you lose a debate, you are out. If you aren’t in the top three in a room of six, you are out.
    • Some members of our team break in multiple events. They must compete in a debate and then run to another room and give the last speech of the round.
  • Saturday night is the awards ceremony. The tournament director announces the top six speakers/actors in each event and the top four debaters in each event.

Q: How long does it take the students to prep for a debate?

A: It depends on the debater and how successful he or she wants to be. Typically for debaters, they research and write 20 hours per week. However, experienced debaters report that after time (and after losing), the research is actually quite fun and comes easily. Speech and drama people put in a lot of time at the beginning of the season, but they can do the same speech or drama script all year. They just revise and improve deliver as they go.

Q: What are your goals for the team this year?
A: As a coach, my team captains always meet and decide what priorities we should have. They are emphatic that we want it to be fun and we want to have a family atmosphere. That is what I’m most proud of because our leaders have made that happen. Of course, our one tangible goal is to win the state championship this year. We know that it will be very difficult, but we believe it is a real possibility.

Q: When is the next tournament?
A: The next tournament is at Basis Peoria.

A huge thanks to Mr. Rumsey for taking the time to answer these questions about our astonishing Speech & Debate members! Congratulations to all of the debaters and speech/drama students for putting in so much work and doing what they do best: arguing.