When it comes to who are the best high school students in the state for policy debate, there is no debate: It’s Parkview High School’s Andre Swai and Emory Williams.
The duo won the MSHSAA State Speech & Debate Tournament in the policy debate category. The tournament was held this past weekend at Missouri State.
Williams and Swai earned their trip to the state tournament with a quarterfinals win at the District Qualifying tournament at Central High School on March 2nd. They advanced through four preliminary rounds at the state event before marching through the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals to earn the state championship honor.
Speech and Debate coach for the Vikings, Christopher Rothgeb, said the championship was a result of a lot of hard work on the part of Swai and Williams.
“As the Head Coach, I really want the students in my program and in my school to see what happens when hard work and determination are constantly at the forefront,” Rothgeb told OI. “Andre and Emory are very good debaters, but they didn’t necessarily start that way. It took a lot of work to get them at this level. There were so many nights of preparing for each possible case we could see and what our strategy would be for each possible outcome. However, most people think that this is just their innate ability, but it is a lot of hard work.”
“I am so very proud of Emory and Andre and the work that they did to get here,” Rothgeb continued. “I have seen them work so hard and overcome so many adversities to reach this level.”
Swai also picked up an individual state championship for original oratory.