Newton takes 3 to national forensicsFriday, May 08, 2009 By Joanna Epp
This summer in June, instead of relaxing at home during summer break, seniors Bill Newell and Phillip Bradshaw, sophomore Tyler Prochazka, head forensics coach David Williams and assistant coach Cory Buchta will head off to Birmingham, Ala., to compete in National Forensics League (NFL) national tournament. "(NFL is) an organization that sets up rules and regulations and organizes forensics events and holds a national tournament," Newell said. NFL will be held June 14-19. Newell and Prochazka are partners competing in policy debate, where they will be debating about alternative energy, and Bradshaw will participate in domestic extemporaneous (extemp) speaking, where he will give short speeches about current events in the United States. There is competition in quite a few different events at the tournament, including events like foreign extemp and congress. In foreign extemp, the contestant has 30 minutes to prepare a seven minute speech on a foreign topic. Congress is modeled after the actual Congress. Contestants give speeches about legislation using proper parliamentary procedures. Newell qualified in foreign extemp and congress along with policy debate, but qualifiers are only allowed to compete in one event. Bradshaw also qualified in congress. This will be Newell’s second time at nationals and Bradshaw’s third. Prochazka is a first time qualifier and the first sophomore in two years to qualify. Bradshaw has a chance to make All-American at the competition. At the end of the year, students involved in NFL’s points are calculated and the top 25 are All-American. It is a nationwide competition, and a very high honor. Points can be earned from service projects and special NFL events, but mainly from doing well in competition. Bradshaw currently has 2,024 points and has a good chance of staying in the top 25 if he scores well at the national tournament. "Phillip is really close. He is in the top ten or 12 as far as points," Williams said. "As long as he’s in the top 25 at the end of nationals, he will make All-American. Newton has never had one before. It is very prestigious." Qualifying for nationals is no small feat, according to Williams. "It’s quite difficult (to qualify)," Williams said. "We have district tournament, and you have to finish in the top two or three. We compete against everyone, not just 5A and 6A schools, but 3A, 2A and 1A as well. It isn’t like sports where when you have a bigger school, you usually have a better team. Some small schools are amazing competitors." Newell and Prochazka were initially first alternates for policy debate. A team dropped out and Newell and Prochazka were able to go. Newell had quite a few reasons he was looking forward to the competition. "I’m excited to go because I’ll be debating against people who are really good," Newell said. "It is also quite an accomplishment, and I get to hang out with cool forensics people I know and go to a place where I’ve never been."