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The Greatest Teams In The History Of Kansas Debate (Old Timers, Get In Here)

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The 1983 NFL Extemp cassette tape is around here somewhere, I used to listen to that all the time. I forgot if Culver won first or second but I would not argue against that he was the best extemper ever.

 

Dinosaurio you probably would be a blast to talk to as you debated in the golden era and the KC area was where a ton of good teams were. I will introduce myself at some tournament this fall and would like to discuss further.

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Culver won the '83 final with the "ground glass" speech. He beat a Texas extemper named Bill Robinson who had won the previous year as a sophomore and who won the subsequent year as a senior, and who would probably have a lock on the "best ever" designation had Culver not wrecked his party.

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Culver won the '83 final with the "ground glass" speech. He beat a Texas extemper named Bill Robinson who had won the previous year as a sophomore and who won the subsequent year as a senior, and who would probably have a lock on the "best ever" designation had Culver not wrecked his party.

 

Why talk about it when you could just watch it?

 

http://nfltv.org/2009/10/21/1983-kansas-city-nationals/

 

:)

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How many coaches did Hutchinson have between Richard Young and Kelly Thompson?

 

 

Two, Glenna Burden and Glen Nelson.

 

 

Brad Young of Hutchinson ('83?) would be on the short list of great Kansas debate/forensics competitors: national champion in Congress, national NFL point leader by a substantial margin as a senior. I'll also make the case for Hutch's Eric Switzer, who was a two-time 6A state champion and an NFL finalist in Extemp. Nunns and Walker are probably the top of the list for the Salt Hawks, though. Did you know that Courtney Nunns still teaches English at Olathe North? Hutch also had a team in the NFL National Final at some point in the 1930s; there are still only three schools in Kansas that can make that claim.

 

Richard Young, I have been told, won more state championships than any coach in Kansas. He is the only coach in the history of the state (and very possibly the nation) to qualify debate teams to NFL Nationals from five different schools, and is the only Kansas coach to have qualified a team to nationals from a 1A high school.

 

I've often wished that we had records of teams from prior to the dawn of the DCI era. Even the early 80s is largely apocryphal, and most of what was achieved prior to then is a matter of rumor.

 

Brad Young won congress TWICE. He won the House as a Sophmore, Senate as a Junior, and made the finals of extemp as a Senior. He's on the KS Forensics Mount Rushmore along with Kensinger, Ben Lerner, and Jessie Nathan (or Culver)

 

I'm not sure about RY having the most State Championships in debate. I think he won 5 or 6 (I'm not sure what year he got there for sure) while at Hutch and probably add on 3-5 more while at Little River/Buhler/Great Bend. He never won in forensics while he was at Hutch, and I think he won a couple of those while at Buhler. I'd bet that Mark Stucky at Moundridge has won more overall, and is right there with him in debate. Moundridge has won 9 in debate since 2000...

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The 1983 NFL Extemp cassette tape is around here somewhere, I used to listen to that all the time. I forgot if Culver won first or second but I would not argue against that he was the best extemper ever.

 

Dinosaurio you probably would be a blast to talk to as you debated in the golden era and the KC area was where a ton of good teams were. I will introduce myself at some tournament this fall and would like to discuss further.

 

I look forward to that!

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Why talk about it when you could just watch it?

 

http://nfltv.org/200...city-nationals/

 

:)

 

Now I know what I am doing on Friday night. Maybe make it a complete Kansas debate night watch the 83 extemp finals, Wake GL vs. Kansas BJ in 2010 NDT and Kansas State MZ vs. whoever from CEDA nats.

 

I continue to have no life.

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Two, Glenna Burden and Glen Nelson.

 

 

 

 

Brad Young won congress TWICE. He won the House as a Sophmore, Senate as a Junior, and made the finals of extemp as a Senior. He's on the KS Forensics Mount Rushmore along with Kensinger, Ben Lerner, and Jessie Nathan (or Culver)

 

I'm not sure about RY having the most State Championships in debate. I think he won 5 or 6 (I'm not sure what year he got there for sure) while at Hutch and probably add on 3-5 more while at Little River/Buhler/Great Bend. He never won in forensics while he was at Hutch, and I think he won a couple of those while at Buhler. I'd bet that Mark Stucky at Moundridge has won more overall, and is right there with him in debate. Moundridge has won 9 in debate since 2000...

 

Brad Young has subsequently changed his last name to Birzer. He is my uncle.

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Brad Young has subsequently changed his last name to Birzer. He is my uncle.

 

I knew that he changed his name, but I never knew what his new name was. That's really interesting, I had no idea.

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My vote is for Eric Suni/Andrew Ardinger and Brian Nye/Scott Stinson from SME. They were the first to close out the 6A state finals (state championships seem like the most important barometer) and the only set of teams to qualify to the TOC from the same school in the same year. I'm not sure how they finished at DCI but part of that was by design (SME didn't attend DCI for a number of years due to ideological differences.)

 

A little bit of extra love for my old college debate partner Andrew Baker for being top speaker at NFL in addition to being a finalist. What's more remarkable is that they only had three days to prepare (a duo from SME dropped out at the last minute.)

 

Other names that merit (more) attention;

 

-- Dylan Keenan of BVN: 2nd at NFL in extemp (and only because of a busted microphone), NDT Semifinalist and top speaker at college's biggest invitational (Wake.)

 

-- Nate Johnson and Brad Hall of Manhattan: NDT Champion and NDT Finalist.

 

-- Brett Bricker of Wichita SE: NDT Champion after never attending debate camp in the past.

 

-- Andrew Jennings on Silver Lake: State champion in both Policy and Extemp, incredibly talented college debater.

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My vote is for Eric Suni/Andrew Ardinger and Brian Nye/Scott Stinson from SME. They were the first to close out the 6A state finals (state championships seem like the most important barometer) and the only set of teams to qualify to the TOC from the same school in the same year. I'm not sure how they finished at DCI but part of that was by design (SME didn't attend DCI for a number of years due to ideological differences.)

 

A little bit of extra love for my old college debate partner Andrew Baker for being top speaker at NFL in addition to being a finalist. What's more remarkable is that they only had three days to prepare (a duo from SME dropped out at the last minute.)

 

Other names that merit (more) attention;

 

-- Dylan Keenan of BVN: 2nd at NFL in extemp (and only because of a busted microphone), NDT Semifinalist and top speaker at college's biggest invitational (Wake.)

 

-- Nate Johnson and Brad Hall of Manhattan: NDT Champion and NDT Finalist.

 

-- Brett Bricker of Wichita SE: NDT Champion after never attending debate camp in the past.

 

-- Andrew Jennings on Silver Lake: State champion in both Policy and Extemp, incredibly talented college debater.

 

Those are good too. I heard Jennings debate and he was clearly good enough to match up with Culver.

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I don't think Jennings actually ever won 123A state in debate; as I recall he lost in finals as a senior.

 

So clearly he wasn't at all good at the activity.

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I don't think Jennings actually ever won 123A state in debate; as I recall he lost in finals as a senior.

 

So clearly he wasn't at all good at the activity.

 

It wasn't his fault. The opponent had an incredibly specific T def...magic BB. I should know. I was on that panel. 3 Coaches judged that round at BVW that year. How often do I vote on T?

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Mike Gottlieb and Chris Fransisco, Lawrence '95

Accomplishments: 1 (or possibly 2?) top 10 finishes at NFL Nationals, 2spk State Champion

Notes: This team doesn't quite have the accomplishments of some of the teams to follow, but part of that could be attributed to the fact that they were contemporaries with another team on this list. That said, this team certainly passed the eyball test, they would have been dominant in any era. Perhaps the biggest factor that puts them on this list is Gottlieb's college success. Mike Gottlieb (at Northwestern) went on to become arguably the greatest college debater of all time (2x NDT Champ, 2x NDT Top Speaker, Copeland Award). To put this in perspective for the younger folks; if debate was a video game, Mike Gottlieb would be the final boss... Oh, and he also went on to become President Obama's lawyer.

 

Amir Sufi and Lisa Hyten Washburn Rural '95

Accomplishments: 2x DCI Champs, 4th place at NFL Nationals

Notes: The first ever 2x DCI champion. Extremely talented team. I happened to be one of the few fortunate souls who got to witness a Sufi/Hyten vs Gottlieb/Fransisco debate.... And yes, It was epic.

 

Andrew Baker and Sarah Weiner Shawnee Mission West '07

Accomplishments: NFL Finalist in '07

Notes: One of 2 teams teams to ever debate in the finals of NFL (in the modern era). Weiner went on to win DCI with a different partner. Both went on to have extremely successful college debate careers.

 

Alex Parkinson and Jessie Egan Olathe Northwest '07

Accomplishments: 2x DCI Champions, 2spk State Champion, Top 10 finish at NFL, Qualified and participated in the TOC

Notes: One of two 2x DCI champs. One of the few Kansas teams to ever participate in the TOC.

 

My vote is for Eric Suni/Andrew Ardinger and Brian Nye/Scott Stinson from SME. They were the first to close out the 6A state finals (state championships seem like the most important barometer) and the only set of teams to qualify to the TOC from the same school in the same year. I'm not sure how they finished at DCI but part of that was by design (SME didn't attend DCI for a number of years due to ideological differences.)

 

A little bit of extra love for my old college debate partner Andrew Baker for being top speaker at NFL in addition to being a finalist. What's more remarkable is that they only had three days to prepare (a duo from SME dropped out at the last minute.)

So, there has been some very good and entertaining responses on this thread. I realised that these threads illustrated the 3 phases of my personal experience with some of the best debaters in Kansas. 1st was when I was a debater myself. I unfortunately graduated in 1995, and there were a couple of tournaments that going 3-2 was a major accomplishment because we hit both Gottlieb/Fransisco and Sufi/Hyten in the same tournament. We considered it an accomplishment to pick up a single speaker point. From the perspective of truly getting our butts kicked, I believe they were the best ever.

 

2nd is as a judge. If I were to evaluate the best I've judged, I'm biased toward the standard that was set by the best that beat me. That being said, the combination of Eric Suni/Andrew Ardinger and Brian Nye/Scott Stinson were the best two teams from the same school. I felt like the only team that adapted to me better than Alex Parkinson and Jessie Egan was the Skogland brothers. Both of those teams really understood my judging philosophy and used it to their advantage countless times.

 

3rd is as a coach. After being consistantly beat by some of the best, and then judging and coaching against some of the best, you'd think I was pretty humble. Well, Andrew Baker and Sarah Weiner definately showed me that I wasn't humble enough. In the end, I think they were coaching me a lot more than I was them. They made me realize what so many other coaches already knew, for the great teams, be a facilitator for them to go out and acheive for themselves. Then to follow them up with Melanie Cambell and Leah Empson. I was very lucky to get to work with some great debate minds that I drove to tournaments.

 

Bottomline, in 3 different ways I have been privledged to be a part of or see some of these great debaters in action. I'm probably not qualified to speak to anything but attest that they truly were impressive. I can't say if Jordan in his prime was better than James. I can't say that Tyson in his prime would have beat or been beaten by Ali in his prime. I can't say that Gottlieb/Fransisco was better than Ardinger/Suni. All were great. And I'm glad I got the experience.

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As for debate in the mid ninties, I think it was a heck of a transition period. Today laptops are changing the landscape. Then it was photocopiers and the beginning of the internet for research. While spreading happened prior, with more access to evidence there was more to present. In 1990 teams still read from real index cards. In 1995 we had 4 rubbermaid tubs full of evidence that had been photocopied in mass. Research went from checking out magazines, photocopying entire articles, literally cutting the articles with scissors, taping them to blank paper, and hand writing the tag and source to researching online and printing off the evidence as you needed it. Perhaps it was just us, but selective underlining wasn't the norm yet, you read everything you cut. I look back and technology really drove some big changes in the activity in a very short period of time.

 

Another transition in styles were aff case structure. It was a shift from harms/need cases to CA cases. You still had structure to appease stock issue judges, but started focusing more on the advantages for CA style of debating. Judges were still instructed on what the stock issues were, so you had to blend a stock issues paradigm with a offense/defense paradigm that was emerging. CP's were still taboo in some places and were strictly in the format of mutually exclusive, non-topical, and competitive.

 

CEDA and NDT were split, so college camps had style differences.

 

It was a transition period, much like I think we are in now.

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I don't think Jennings actually ever won 123A state in debate; as I recall he lost in finals as a senior.

 

So clearly he wasn't at all good at the activity.

It wasn't his fault. The opponent had an incredibly specific T def...magic BB. I should know. I was on that panel. 3 Coaches judged that round at BVW that year. How often do I vote on T?

 

is this some sort of joke.

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What year are you suggesting was the year we are talking about? I was on that panel at BVW. I don't know if it was his senior year or not. STA would need to clarify his statement. I suspect at least part of his comment was "tongue-in-cheek".

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Best ones from when I was in H.S.:

Mike Gotleib & Chris Francisco - Lawrence High
Amir Sufi & Lisa Highten - Washburn Rural
Grant Denny & Chris Burley - Winfield High
Grant McKeehan & Ryan Nelson - Shawnee Mission South
Courtney Nuns & Ben Walker - Hutchinson High
Courtney Apple(something?) & John Punch - Wichita Northwest
Howie Hannah & Isaac West - Manhattan High
Ben Lerner & Becky Ihrie - Topeka High (there were several other good debaters and teams from THS when I was in high school, names that stand out in my mind are Adam Nordstrom, Matt Wilson and Kara Hites, Laurel Sims)

individuals that were great:
Joe Ramsey - Nickerson High
Josh Longbottom - Manhattan High
Doug Hennessee - Highland Park
Michael Schultz - Andover HS
"Cadillac" Corey Dean - Haven HS
Stacia Decker - Valley Center HS
Chris Paul - Wichita East

Best ones I've judged:

Rohan & Neel - Washburn Rural
Dave Amaling & Jon Allshouse - Washburn Rural
Sarah Gragert & Lea Bishop - Wichita East
Melissa Newton & Liz Richardson - Hutchinson High
Brian Rubaie & Schneider - Shawnee Mission East
Irene Beeman - Manhattan High

Slightly before my time, but I knew them (1989 - 1992ish):

Peckham & Hon - Field Kindley
Jennifer Saunders & Kali Pegues - Parsons
Jay Saunders & Scott Titsworth - Parsons
Greg Achten & Jim Haefley - Shawnee Heights
David Kensinger & Katherine Menendez - Topeka High

There have been many many great teams that I don't remember their names, schools that put out great teams back in my day were:

Field Kindley
Parsons
Topeka High
Hutchinson
Wichita Heights
Wichita Southeast
Wichita East
Manhattan
Salina Central
Lawrence
Shawnee Mission West
Emporia
Blue Valley

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I also judged Erin McLain/Grace Lee from Hutch and they were fantastic.

 

I second Glaser/Owens - they were in my squad at debate camp at ESU and are great people and well as one of the best teams. The ESU camp was full of great students and teachers. This was during the time when K-State and ESU were co-national champs. Just about every student at the camp ended up qualifying to nationals in something.

 

Glaser and Owens weren't even the best team at that camp though as I recall. I remember even better debaters being from Parsons, Manhattan, Topeka High, Valley Center, Wichita, and Shawnee Mission East.

 

Glaser was a great basketball player too and put a lot of the boys to shame on the court.

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I went to SME from 86-90 so I'm an East homer obviously. Best team of that era was David Kensinger & Katherine Menendez - Topeka High. Kensinger also won back-to-back extemp titles (88 and 89 I think).

 

SME had a good run from 89-92 under Larry Brown (RIP). Started with Jason Wright and Duane McLaughlin in 89. East took 2nd at State in 89 and won state in 90 and 92. Not a bad 4 year showing. Olathe South also started its rise at or near 1990.

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Even though most people thought this year was going to be a power vacuum, Kansas has seen a lot of great teams this year. BVW BY qualified to the TOC in three bid tournaments, they haven't lost a round in Kansas yet this year and hopefully that continues. BVW MN and BVN EJ have also gotten a bid. BVW BY may very well go on this list and maybe the other teams too. This year is a great one for Kansas though, with more TOC bids this year already than the last two years combined. This post will definitely need updating by the end of this year.

 

BVW BS could also be added to the list: CFL octafinalist, State runner up, State champion, DCI champion.

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Even though most people thought this year was going to be a power vacuum, Kansas has seen a lot of great teams this year. BVW BY qualified to the TOC in three bid tournaments, they haven't lost a round in Kansas yet this year and hopefully that continues. BVW MN and BVN EJ have also gotten a bid. BVW BY may very well go on this list and maybe the other teams too. This year is a great one for Kansas though, with more TOC bids this year already than the last two years combined. This post will definitely need updating by the end of this year.

 

BVW BS could also be added to the list: CFL octafinalist, State runner up, State champion, DCI champion.

 

Buhler BS wasn't too shabby either: CFL finalists, DCI runners up, 4A State Champs, and 1st & 3rd speakers at NFL.

 

And of course, Manhattan PW's 11 bids and 4 tournament wins deserve the highest of praise as well. :Bow

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Even though most people thought this year was going to be a power vacuum, Kansas has seen a lot of great teams this year. BVW BY qualified to the TOC in three bid tournaments, they haven't lost a round in Kansas yet this year and hopefully that continues. BVW MN and BVN EJ have also gotten a bid. BVW BY may very well go on this list and maybe the other teams too. This year is a great one for Kansas though, with more TOC bids this year already than the last two years combined. This post will definitely need updating by the end of this year.

 

BVW BS could also be added to the list: CFL octafinalist, State runner up, State champion, DCI champion.

 

Also CFL Quarterfinalists the year before.

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