Tennessee Tech’s speech and debate team displayed their highest performance yet returning from the Middle Tennessee State University swing tournament with 15 individual speaking awards, an overall debate champion team and two team sweepstakes awards.

The swing tournament featured a national parliamentary debate association (NPDA) tournament, an international parliamentary debate association (IPDA) tournament, and two separate individual events (IE) tournaments.

Debate President Ryan Goke reflected, “A lot of times it’s just a constant flow of researching, presenting and then running to your next round over and over. The mental and physical stamina to perform at your highest ability for that long is extremely difficult to maintain.”

A swing tournament essentially fits the content of four separate tournament competitions into one.

“I thought the team performed exceedingly well this past weekend,” Coach Jacob Metz commented. “In debate, we coordinated well in our preparation time and everybody was able to seamlessly contribute information and ideas to the conversation.”

Of the six competitors representing the purple and gold, each entered on average four events, including debate.

“While all the students who competed this weekend did well, the most impressive performance was that put on by Ryan Goke,” Metz said.

Club president, Goke partnered with Sierra Noe, a student at UT-Knoxville, who joined the Tech team because UTK does not offer debate. The Goke/Noe team went 4-1 to advance the to the final round, then won five of the six ballots to conclusively secure the overall victory for the entire NPDA category.

“Sierra and I have been growing stronger together as partners over the last several months,” Goke said. “Working well together involves being familiar with their style of argumentation… It’s also about totally trusting… As we walk into a round, I know she has my back.”

Goke also claimed four awards in the individual events tournament including extemporaneous speaking, two after dinner speaking and impromptu speaking.

The forecast after MTSU looks like the familiar upward march toward improvement for the team as a whole. A prospect Goke looks forward to.

“Win or lose, its together as a team, and they’re some of the sharpest and funniest people I’ve ever met, so its always a good time hanging out with them. Never a dull moment,” Goke said.

Next up for the team is a tournament this weekend in Owensboro, Ky.


TTU Speech and Debate Team Awards, 2016-2017

MTSU Pejaver and Lightning Classic Swing Tournament (Oct. 28-30, 2016)

Team Awards: 

TTU – First place NPDA debate team sweepstakes award

TTU – Second place overall combined team sweepstakes award

Individual Awards: 

Ryan Goke: First place team in open NPDA debate, fifth place after dinner speaking (day one and day two), fifth place impromptu speaking and third place extemporaneous speaking.

Angela Jones: Second place speaker award in novice NPDA Debate and fourth place speaker award in NPDA debate.

Justin Hilliard: First place speaker award in NPDA debate and semifinalist in open NPDA debate.

David Dockery: Fourth place in persuasive speaking, fifth place award in informative speaking, fourth place award in persuasive speaking (day two) and fourth place in informative speaking (day two).

Alex Smith: Semifinalist in open NPDA debate, fourth place in poetry interpretation (day one), fourth place in poetry interpretation (day two) and top novice in poetry interpretation (day two).

David Sutherland: sixth place in extemporaneous speaking (day two).