The State Fair Community College Speech and Debate team competed in back-to-back tournaments to kick off its 2022-2023 season. 

SFCC students who competed were sophomore Josh Kofahl of Jefferson City, freshman Gray Griego of Platte City, and freshman Lucas Culbertson of Edwards. SFCC faculty Kaila Todd and Sarah Nail are the team’s coaches.

The team competed in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) style debate, which is a one-on-one limited preparation format in which students are given a new topic each round with 30 minutes to prepare their case. Additionally, they competed in individual speech events.

The team’s first event was the 2022 Bob R. Derryberry Season Opener, hosted by Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar Oct. 7-8.  Sophomore and team President Kofahl started his second season with several victories. Kofahl placed sixth in Impromptu Speaking and fourth in Persuasive Speaking.  Kofahl placed second overall in JV IPDA after a loss to a University of Central Missouri student in the final round.

On Oct. 14-15, the SFCC Speech and Debate team attended the 2022 Riverfest Swing at Park University in Parkville where SFCC won the Top Community College Sweepstakes.

Griego placed third overall in Novice IPDA debate, fifth in Novice IPDA debate and sixth in Prose Interpretation.

At Riverfest, Kofahl received second place in JV IPDA debate, second in Impromptu Speaking, fourth in Persuasive Speaking, and fourth in Prose Interpretation.

“We are extremely proud to see the hard work of our students continue to pay off,” said Coach Todd. “While we have started off the ’22-’23 season with competitive success, what makes me even more proud as a coach are the number of compliments I have received from their judges. Their character is shining through each round, and I know the incremental improvements they are making now will continue to pay off this season and for a lifetime.”

SFCC Speech and Debate team’s next tournament will be the Missouri Mule hosted by the University of Central Missouri Oct. 21-22. The speech and debate team is open to all SFCC students. Those who want to learn more are encouraged to contact coaches Todd at (660) 596-7246 or or Nail at

In the photo: State Fair Community College’s speech and debate teammates (from left) Gray Griego, Lucas Culbertson and Joshua Kofahl earned seven medals at the Riverfest Swing hosted by Park University. Additionally, SFCC won the Top Community College Sweepstakes Award.  

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