The Louisiana College Wildcat Debate Team has the best novice debater in the state. She is Shelby Cumpton, a freshman history major from Quitman, who was named the Louisiana Champion Novice Debater at the Annual Southern Forensics Championship Tournament hosted virtually this year by the University of Central Arkansas.
“All I set out to do with this tournament was to do better than I did in the last one and to learn from other competitors,” said Cumpton. “I did not expect to break into out-rounds, so it was a complete surprise. I give all the glory to God and hope to keep learning and improving through future tournaments. I am so grateful for our awesome coach and incredible debate team.”
Debate topics cover anything and everything going on in the world—from serious to silly. Cumpton said her favorite topic during this tournament was the quotation from National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman at the Presidential Inauguration “While democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.”
The tournament included debaters from 29 schools, including several large universities such as the University of Florida and Mississippi State along with state school, Louisiana Tech.
“I am very proud of the way our team is competing despite the challenges of virtual competition,” said Coach Brian Manuel. “For one of our own team to bring home the title of Louisiana champion speaks volumes about her and the quality of students we have here at Louisiana College.”
The team will compete in three more tournaments this semester with the last one being the national competition in April.