Officially concluding the year at the National Forensics Association (NFA) tournament hosted by Ohio University, the group yielded 123 wins and 67 losses. There, veteran Cherell Granger became the fifth Northwood competitor to advance to the quarterfinals, placing in the top 24 speakers out of 113 in Rhetorical Criticism.
The team is also bidding farewell to their longtime coach Andy Rapp. Established over twenty years ago by Rapp, the group has enjoyed many victories, with an overall 1443 wins and 692 losses.
Having sent many competitors to Interstate, a competition which invites only the top two challengers from every state to compete in Persuasive Speaking, the group has also placed in the top ten at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals, and as high as second in their division at the NFA competition. In addition to having been first in state on multiple occasions, the team has held three showcases and a dinner theater to demonstrate their talents, and also produced numerous tournament champions in all types of competitions.
“My time on the speech team has truly been life changing. Joining the team was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and was only made possible by Andy Rapp, who personally encouraged me to join the team,” remarked McKenzie Terwillegar, a Northwood University junior who currently competes and manages the team. “While he may seem overwhelming at times, that is only because he cares so deeply about the success of every person on his team, whether they be in competition or in the classroom. He works tirelessly to help students reach their greatest potential while having fun along the way.”