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About Kyunker

  • Rank
    Longtime Member
  • Birthday 01/05/1980

Profile Information

  • Name
    Kenny Yunker
  • School
    Grandview HS
  • Location
    Lee's Summit, MO
  • Occupation
    Debate Coach

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  1. We discussed the September issue two years ago. The committee is pretty against it, for a couple of reasons. First is kids/coaches burnout. The committee believes that increasing the length of the competitive season will lead to more kids getting burnt out, regardless of whether we stick to the 10/11 tournament rule. Second is coach burnout. A longer season will undoubtedly put more strain on coaches and the committee works to preserve a balance there. Third, the committee believes it would give certain schools a competitive advantage over other schools. If we just allowed teams to compete in tournaments earlier, but not host, the committee believed that would give border schools an advantage, plus it would give schools with the monetary resources an even bigger advantage than they already possess. I don't see this as something that the committee will be changing anytime soon. Quite frankly, I've only ever had one school show any interest in this at all. Most schools are pretty happy with the current schedule, and to be quite honest, the current travel regulations (although changing those will take an act of congress...probably quite literally). Feel free to email me any questions or thoughts (KEYunker@swbell.net). I don't check this very often.
  2. First, the advisory committee didn't unanimously approve 5 minute rebuttals, it was a 5-2 vote. Last year the committee passed 5 minute rebuttals, but because it was a 3-2-3 vote (3 abstentions), the MSHSAA Board of Governors wanted further study (a survey of coaches) before they would pass it. The results were around 55% for 5 minutes, 45% for 4 minutes, but there were multiple schools that have never had policy that voted for 4 minutes, so the committee felt it was time to move forward (25 years late I might add). This has been one of the things I've tried to push through for three years on that committee, so there is some progress. As for the "grumpy old traditionalist men" the committee doesn't have any voting members that would fall into that category. I'm the oldest man (I'm 32, and certainly not grumpy) on the committee. The biggest problem with the committee is I'm the only coach that coaches policy debate. There are several coaches that coach LD and/or PuF, but policy is by far the smallest event in the state. Coaches that don't coach the event are not willing to make changes to something they don't know without a lot of persuasion. It took 3 years for me get enough people on board. The committee also recommended that extemp be split at the state tournament (I give this a 50-50 chance of passing the board). I think those were the only two big changes that would affect the people on these boards.
  3. I can add a few more people to the list of national performers. Ray-Pec and Blue Springs both had Duos in semis, Blue Springs also had an HI in sems. Emma from SPC is in finals of Commentary. Devon from Nixa is in finals of Supp Debate. I know Nixa and SPC had someone place 8-13 in Supp Debate. I think Sieggy was between 14-24. Parkview had a Duo in the Top 30, but I don't think they made sems. That is all I can remember. I was a bit zoned in on Supp Debate today. John from Grandview's last name is Wallace. He's a sophomore extemper, policy debater. Missouri had a great national tournament. Not quite the run in the main event debates as in the past, but overall I think a better tournament than last year. I am proud to be from Missouri, and I am proud of our results. It is always amazing to see how our state comes together to pull for someone from Missouri regardless of the school they attend or the event they are competing in. I don't care if you are from KC, Springfield, St. Louis or any other part of the state. We come together better than any other state at this tournament to pull for our own. Thank you to all the well wishes John and I received this week. It means a lot to us both!! ~Yunker
  4. In 2005 we had 3 in finals of the house, one of which placed. They don't have a ballot anymore in congress. The judges rank everyone now. They also give points for speeches, but those don't count for anything. Missourians placing (this is probably an incomplete list, but I've got a lot): Blue Springs (Darius/Austin) - 1st in Duo - that's right, national champs!! Blue Springs (AJ Taula) - 1st in Poetry - that's two national champs for BS!! Kickapoo (Erin) - 2nd in Supp Debate Springfield Central (Brittany) - 3rd in Supp Debate Springfield Central (Karl) - 5th in Supp Debate Neosho (Chris) - 5th in Supp Debate Truman (Dana Masters) - 2nd in Storytelling Park Hill South (Jake/Chelsea) - 3rd in PuF Parkview (Devin/Aaron) -4th in PuF Liberty (Alexis Elliott) - 4th in USX Semifinalists: Blue Springs (Spencer) - 13th in HI Parkview (Zach/Nathan) - 7th in Duo Savannah (Zach/Andy) - 10th in Duo Savannah (Forrest Richardson) - 7th in USX Savannah (Barbosa) - 10th in House I think that's it. Add to it if you want. Like forensics or not, you've got to give it up to Blue Springs. They had one heck of a tournament, and won the first main event for Missouri since 2004, and only the second national championship in interp ever (Park Hill HI in 1986), making it Missouri's first ever win in Duo. Parkview won a School of Excellence award in debate, and by my count, Blue Springs should have won one in speech, but either I'm wrong or they didn't fill out the paperwork. Neosho won the prestigous Bruno E Jacob award for the most cumulative rounds at the national tournament. Parkview will win this award in the next couple of years. Great year for Missouri at nationals!
  5. Rumor has it Blue Springs has a duo in finals. This is the duo that won every tournament they entered this year. They are freaking amazing. Go watch duo tomorrow and cheer on your fellow Missourians. Any other finalists out there?
  6. I just got back from the MSHSAA Advisory Committee Meeting, and I am more perplexed and confused than ever. I only have about two minutes, so I'll make this quick. Rebuttals are still 4 minutes. I honestly can't tell you what the rationale was, only that I was the only one in favor of it. PF final focus is now 2 minutes (we added a minute) but CX is still the same. Most of what happens in this state remained the same, with one major change. We recommended that laptops be allowed in policy debate next year for a one year trial period. Tournament hosts can still ban them, but they will be at districts and state IF the Executive Board passes it, and doesn't send it to the ballot or questionaire. We got that passed (8-0 in fact), but couldn't add one minute to CX rebuttals. I'm quite confused, but I guess a step is better than no steps. I'll update more later if I get a chance, and answer any questions I can. ~Yunker
  7. I will be attending the MSHSAA Speech/Debate/Theatre Advisory Committee Meeting on Tuesday, and I will be able to give you a better idea of how these meetings work, and whether or not change can/will happen. While everyone whines about what is wrong with debate in this state, just remember that four Missouri schools are currently debating at the TOC for the first time this year because of recent rule changes. Change happens, it just takes a little time. As an FYI, agenda items include computers in debate and extemp, time limits for all debate, revisiting alternates for the state tournament, changes to one acts/readers, power matching debate at state/districts, adding a sweepstakes award at state, and a whole lot more. Now, most of the agenda items some of you will say "it's about time" came from me, but not all of them. Finally, stop living in a utopia. Change can and will happen, but we will not be the national circuit, nor will we ever be (and frankly I like that). If you really think that MPJ is something good for debate in Missouri, let's see an invitational in the state model it. We will never see something like that at state without a fairly large tournament doing it first. Most of the coaches on the advisory committee have no idea how it works (me included although I'm sure I could quickly learn). If you feel that strongly about MPJ go run a tournament that does it. The change that should happen is put the coaches that qualified a policy team in the policy pool. There is no reason that Mike Kearney and all of the Greenwood judges should have been in the PuF pool. Same for Pembroke, same for every school that qualified someone in LD, they shouldn't have been in the policy pool, but the LD pool. Let's get that changed first, then maybe MPJ would even mean something. OK, I'm not going to line by line, but I do have a few random thoughts from some of the comments thus far. First, how does my lack of debating in college or even seeing a college round affect my coaching or my ability to make judgements on whether oral critiques are good for high school debate. It doesn't. I have seen it happen in HS debates, and I would prefer to have a written ballot. Rarely do I just flat out agree with Shuman, but I am with him here. While some ballots are absolutely useless, most provide some good information. My experience has been that as soon as a HS student hears something he/she doesn't agree with, he/she will stop listening and not hear the rest of the critique. As it is students will see a random comment on the ballot (ie "you moved your arms too fast") and feel that is the only reason they lost. Trust me, you didn't lose that round because you moved your arms. Second, I don't know what your rules meetings were like Shuman, but every one I have been to has not been a forum for talking about change. That happens at the end of the season as coaches talk to their districts rep on the advisory committee. Until this year, I haven't felt like I have had any measurable input on changing things in Missouri. Third, computer scheduling the state tournament is certainly possible as the free Rich Edwards software allows for judge rounds. This isn't hard, but ultimately it is unneccesary. The only reason I use one at the tournament I host is because we have near triple digits of entries in LD and 80 or so CX teams. I'm not power matching that by hand. But it's not hard to power match 30 teams or less. I can do that in my sleep (I'm sure I probably did at the Mizzou tournament back in the day). I will try to post an update after the meeting Tuesday (I might not get to it until that weekend, but I will post something). ~Yunker
  8. MSHSAA doesn't allow for a replacement by an alternate. Since it is a "team" event, you can be replaced by someone on your squad that would have been eligible to to debate in your spot at districts (in other words, someone who didn't debate at districts, and someone who wasn't in three IEs). It's set up much like track. If someone on a relay team gets injured, a school can replace that injured student with anyone. Same basic idea here.
  9. Congrats to everyone. To complete Thomas's info, LSW was Alex Chang/Hai Kim, Blue Springs was Lauren Dollar/Joelle Wight, and Fort O was Josh Miller/Scott Needles. I think the seeds are right on Fort O/BS, but it was the 4/5, who cares which was which.
  10. Congrats to Pembroke Hill HV for becoming fully qualified to the TOC with their doubles win at the Glenbrooks. This is the second team Pembroke has fully qualified to the TOC (BS has three bids). I'm trying to remember if there has been another MO CX team qualified to the TOC in recent memory. Obviously it didn't matter if they were qualified since they couldn't attend, but has anyone earned two bids before? The only team that I can think of that might have was the really good KCC team from 2003 or so. But I don't think they earned two bids (although I could be wrong). Anyone else know of a team that earned two bids? Just curious. Again, big congrats to the four boys from Pembroke for qualifying. HV debates in octs tomorrow morning I think.
  11. I didn't debate in 99-2000 (I graduated in 98), but I was around the circuit. I traveled with Blue Springs South. I also know a lot of people, and am still in touch with many from that era. Not sure what you want or need, just let me know.
  12. Kyunker


    Even though he is the shortest stack, with the elimination of Prahlad Friedman, Craig is guaranteed at least 6 figures in prize money.
  13. Two people, Lorenzo: Alexandria Wilson in Oratory (3 time qualifier) Kevin Graham in International Extemp Both are seniors, but Kevin is only a second year competitior. 6 straight years we have had an oratory qualifier (although it is only two students, you and Alex). ~Yunker
  14. Just a quick clarification on the rule changes this year. Actually, a team could go to either TOC or NDCA, plus NCFL. There were actually two rule changes this year. The first one allows a school to compete in one tournament post the end of season in Missouri (April 1 - This doesn't include state). The second rule change says the end of the school year is either when a school is no longer in session, or the Friday before Memorial Day, whichever comes first. This means NCFL will always be a tournament a team can go to, because it is traditional over Memorial Day weekend (competition is Saturday and Sunday). A quick note about NCFL. This is the second year I have traveled to NCFL as a judge for Pembroke, and I must say that I am quite impressed with the tournament. In my 15 years around this activity, I have never before seen a tournament that runs as on time as this one. I do hate that the opening meeting on Saturday is at 6:30 am, but every single round happens on time, or early!! I have never seen that, especially at a national tournament. I have not seen the IE side of things, but it is my understanding that they are just as efficient. In addition to the efficiency, the level of competition is probably better than that at NFLs (especially in policy). I judged more than my fair share of crappy teams this year (of the 5 prelim rounds, none of the teams I judged broke), but the upper echelon is really good. For the most part, the judging is pretty solid (except for the fact that they allow me to judge), and you get 3 judges in every round, so there is always a decision (no splits like at NFLs). The one thing that will keep MO teams from going to NCFL (besides the cost) is the judging requirement. Greenwood actually brought more judges than debaters!! I would encourage all coaches to at least look into NCFL next year, as the tournament is being hosted in Omaha, so the transportation costs are not prohibitive. It is a really warm-up to NFLs if you have a student that can do well, and it is a way to give national tournament experience to someone who didn't qualify to NFLs. ~Yunker
  15. Here is what I find really funny about this post. He/She says he's/she's stuck in Kansas, but puts it in the Missouri forum...does he/she know that Missouri and Kansas are two different states? But wait...if he/she is at UMKC, then they are actually in Missouri, so the post is in the right forum...but yet it all talks about Kansas high school debate. Hmmm...someone is quite confused...and it's not me, because I don't care. I know that they have some really good lab leaders at UMKC, so I' know everyone there is learning a good deal. And I hope that those lab leaders will want to hang out this weekend, or next week (hint..hint...Kearney..Louie...others...).
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