Epic debate season


LaToya Williams-Green and Ryan WashEmporia State University Debate ended what could arguably be the best season in its near 100-year history.

“I could not be happier with how our season went,” said Sam Maurer (BS ‘03-Social Science, BFA ‘03-Communication), director of debate at ESU. “To have debated at this program and been a part of its storied history for so long, to watch it blossom the way it did this season is just very special to me.”

Here is a list of awards the ESU Debate Program was honored with at the Cross-Examination Debate Association National Championship at Oklahoma University and the National Debate Tournament hosted by Emory University:

  • Ninth first-round at-large bid to the National Debate Tournament for LaToya Williams-Green and Ryan Wash (Emporia WW), both from Kansas City, Mo.
  • Third at CEDA National Championship — Emporia WW finished third, the best of any team from ESU since the early 1990s.
  • Brian Johnston Debater of the Year Award — The college debate equivalent of the Heisman, the “Baby Jo” award was earned by ESU’s Williams-Green for the 2012 season. The first ESU debater to win the award, Williams-Green is also is the first African-American female so honored. LaToya will attend graduate school next year at Wake Forest University in Communication Studies.
  • CEDA Founder’s Award — For the first time ever, ESU was awarded the CEDA Founder’s Award, the annual award given to the program with the most points in the organization’s history.
  • All-American Debater —Wash was honored as a member of the CEDA All-American Debate Team.
  • Speaker Awards —At the CEDA National Championship, Williams-Green was rated the sixth overall speaker. Wash was rated the fourth overall speaker. At the invitation-only NDT, Williams-Green was rated the 13th speaker and Wash the 12th.
  • Ninth-place finish at National Debate Tournament —The performance ended a season where Emporia WW was indisputably one of the top 10 teams in the country.

“After a season like this, there is a temptation to put one’s feet up and admire one’s work,” said Maurer. “But I speak for myself and the entire ESU debate family in saying that we instead plan to try to capitalize this success into future growth of the program. We have a seat at the table of the nationally elite programs now and we won’t be leaving anytime soon.”