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Talking Mules bring home dozens of awards from season opener in Bolivar

The Talking Mules pose with their awards after the season opener at Southwest Baptist University. Front row from left: Cydni Stanford, Grace Kennedy, Zephaniah Feldon. Second row from left: John Keller, Samantha DuVall, Gage Shrader. Third row from left: Adina McCall, Rovert Reese. Fourth row from left: Ryann HillCourtney Calahan, Ryan Tolbert, Bobbi Gums, Joshua Boster. Back row from left: Trenton Hawes, Alec Bridges, Manny Reyes. (Photo submitted by Jack Rogers)

The Talking Mules Speech and Debate Team opened its season over the weekend at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, competing against 17 other colleges and universities from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Included in the 24 team and individual awards the Talking Mules earned were were first place in Overall Sweepstakes and being named the Top Pi Kappa Delta School, an award given to the member school with the most overall points at the end of the tournament. UCM has been a member of Pi Kappa Delta, a national honorary forensics society, since 1926.

Jack Rogers, director of forensics/speech and debate, said he’s proud of the team’s performance and is looking to build on the early success.

“I think we were tremendously successful for our season opener,” he said. “We entered a lot of new people and they did amazingly well. The tournaments only get more and more difficult from here, but having some national qualifiers already takes some of the pressure off.”

Here are the 24 awards the Talking Mules earned:


Gage Shrader and Joshua Boster- semifinalists in Public Forum Debate
Sam Duvall and Bobbi Gums- semifinalists in Public Forum Debate
Manny Reyes- partial octafinalist in Lincoln Douglas Debate

Individual Events:

Program Oral Interpretation:
Gage Shrader- fourth place
Cydni Stanford- first place and Top Novice

Grace Kennedy- fourth place and Top Novice

Joshua Boster- third place

After Dinner Speaking:
Gage Shrader- first place and Top Novice

Dramatic Interpretation:
Zephaniah Feldon- first place and Top Novice
Alec Bridges- second place
Ryan Tolbert- sixth place
Bobbi Gums- fourth place

Extemporaneous Speaking:
Bobbi Gums- fifth place

Communication Analysis-
Sam Duvall- fifth place

Team Sweeps:

Debate- third place
Individual Events- first place
Combined- first place
Top Pi Kappa Delta School

UCM will host the Missouri Mule / Dale Carnegie Swing Oct. 18-20. Rogers said an information table will be set up in the Elliott Student Union that weekend with times and locations of specific events.

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