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WNCC Speech Team Qualifies for National Tournament

March 07, 2017

The Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) Speech and Debate Team recently qualified two students for the National Forensics Association National Speech Tournament at the Bronco Bash Invitational Speech Tournament, hosted by Hastings College on Feb. 25.

Sebastian Escudero, a freshman from Misiones, Argentina, placed second in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Isaac Sam, a freshman from Dansoman, Ghana, placed sixth in Persuasive Speaking to earn a trip to Eau Claire, Wisconsin in April. Escudero and Sam join Ethan Sheffield, a freshman from Casper, Wyo. and Molly Tamirat, a freshman from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, both of whom qualified last semester. Both Sheffield and Tamirat earned their places at the national tournament in Extemporaneous Speaking. Additionally, Tamirat is qualified to participate in Impromptu Speaking. WNCC Speech and Debate Team members Daniil Khludov and Delidah Endrawos are traveling to Kearney on Saturday, Mar. 11 in an attempt to qualify for nationals.  

The team is excited to qualify multiple students to this year's national tournament. "This is the first year that WNCC has had a speech and debate program in four or five years, and to qualify several of our students, all of them who are in their first year of speech competition, is quite a feat," said Bill Sheffield, one of the coaches at the helm of the program. "We're hoping progress like this leads to attracting local high school speech students who want to compete and experience success at the collegiate level to our program."

The NFA National Speech Tournament, slated for Apr. 13 - 17 at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Clair, attracts approximately 100 colleges and universities throughout the United States. Students from community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities compete head-to-head to crown national champions in 11 different speaking events.

The WNCC Speech and Debate Team is coached by Speech Instructors Bill Sheffield and Kenny Hopkinson. The team represents WNCC in intercollegiate competition throughout the academic year. Incoming high school graduates and currently enrolled WNCC students interested in becoming a member of the WNCC Speech & Debate Team can get more information about participating or about scholarship opportunities by emailing