Being Miss Maumee Valley

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Forensics Press: Forensics Sucessfully Defends National Title

Special thanks to BGNews reporter, Laura Simmons, for having breakfast with our team and writing this great front page article, which included the group photo seen in the post below.

Forensics Sucessfully Defends National Title
University team remains unknown, but still wins national championship

Laura K. Simmons
Issue date: 1/31/06 Section: Campus

The University's forensics team just won their fifth national title, but most students on campus don't even know what a forensics team is.

Ten members of the University's forensics team traveled to Montreal, Quebec, this past weekend to defend their title as national champions of the Collegiate Forensics Association and returned successful.

However, even though they're five-time champions they may go largely unnoticed on campus.

"If you don't know what the forensics team is, you're in the majority," said Abby Bollenbacher, a senior member of the team.

Forensics is where students prepare individual speeches, debates and interpretive performances in order to compete as a team with other universities from places as diverse as Oklahoma and Florida - it's like a track and field competition for speech.

The team's fifth win in a row gives them the longest winning streak in the tournament's 26 year history. The team came home with 16 individual awards, as well as the national title.

As Paul Alday, the director of forensics and debate for the University said, "We're extending our lead. We've got five in a row, or as we like to say, one for the thumb!"

BGSU was the only school competing from the state of Ohio, Alday said, adding that every competing member made it to a final round."

[The other teams] know exactly who we are when we walk in a room," Adlay said, "They recognize us."

However according to Derrick Jones, a volunteer coach for the team, even though the forensics team competes nationally for the university, it doesn't get too much attention.

"Winning five national championships in a row is something no other team has done," he said. "Imagine what the team could do if it was supported like the basketball or the football team.

Jones added that it could bring a lot of notoriety and respect for the University.

Even though the team is nationally recognized, they still make a few mistakes.

"We're good, but we're not perfect," said Michelle Baker, junior, who won first place in Rhetorical Criticism. "Everyone has those moments where you flub everything you say, you just have to shake in off and prepare to do better in your next round,"

In order to minimize mistakes, the team puts in a lot of hard work and practice according to Sarah Griffith, senior.

"When you win it's not because you lucked out, it's because you deserved it," she said.

And they're not taking a break anytime soon. They will be traveling to competitions every weekend for the next six weeks which includes competing over spring break.

Some students might wonder why someone would put so much time into the forensics team, but for Jennifer Cole, a junior, it's easy.

"It's a confidence booster, and an adrenaline rush - especially if you're good," she said.

But for Griffith, forensics is more about the practical benefits.

"I love giving a presentation for a class and not getting the jitters," she said. "What we do in forensics we do in real life - it's learning to communicate on the most effective level. It puts you ahead of the game in many different ways."

Whatever the reasons for participating, right now the forensics team will keep their attention focused on the next competition, and continue to be, according to Baker, "the best kept secret at the University."

Editor's note: For more information about the forensics team contact Paul Wesley Alday, Director of Forensics and Debate at


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