Lynchburg’s Debate and Forensics team scored several trophies last month at the first Collegiate Forensics Association tournament of the semester, held at Randolph-Macon College.
“This team is formidable,” said coach and advisor Dr. Paula Youra, a professor of communication studies and director of the Center for Professional Communication at Lynchburg.
“They placed in every category they entered at the tournament. They were competing against 10 to 20 people in each event, so consistently placing in the top six is impressive.”
In the Declamation category, Seymone Simmons ’22 came in first, while Trinity Green ’24 landed in third place. The Single Dramatic Interpretation category was dominated by Lynchburg, with Tori Rogers ’23 in first, Green in third, and Rheanna Weeks ’23 in fifth place.
“I was most excited to present my pieces, as they were very close to my heart,” said Rogers, a Westover Honors Fellow, vocal music education major, and musical theatre minor from Moneta, Virginia. “I was also very excited to see how my team — especially the newbies — did after watching them practice for a few months.”
One of those newbies was Simmons, a criminology and liberal arts double major with an emphasis in music and a minor in criminal forensics from Lynchburg, Virginia.
“I couldn’t wait for the experience,” Simmons said. “I’m proud of my first-place win. The most challenging thing was being able to keep my nerves down.”
Fellow first-timer Green, a Westover Honors Fellow and double major in biology and chemistry from Chesterfield, Virginia, was equally thrilled with her performance. “I am most proud of placing [in the] top three in all my events,” she said. “Learning the ins and outs of debate was the most challenging.”
With teammate Weeks, Green scored a first place in Duo Dramatic Interpretation and a second place in the Prose category, where Rogers came in third.
Weeks snagged a second place in Communication Analysis, while in the Poetry category, Green placed third and Weeks sixth.
In the Parliamentary Team Debate, Rogers and Green secured a third-place finish. In the Pentathlon, Rogers came in fifth, followed by Weeks in sixth place.
In the Team Sweeps category, Lynchburg claimed third place.
Rogers said she’s proud of the team. “It was a very long weekend and we kept up morale. We also did very well for the first tournament of the semester.”
Next up is the CFA Fall Tournament at the University of Lynchburg on Friday, Nov. 5, and Saturday, Nov. 6.
“I’m excited to compete again with the changes we decided to make,” Rogers said. “I’m also excited [to see] how we will compete at home. I can’t say we have the home court advantage, since that isn’t really a thing in competitions like this, but I know that we will be a lot more comfortable, meaning we will probably do even better.”
Green concurred. “I’m excited to bring it even harder next tournament and hope to place even higher!”