MHS speech students host annual Bradford tournament

Saturday, January 4, 2020
Monett High School speech and debate students gained experience in logistics last weekend running the 59th annual Priscilla Bradford Speech and Debate Tournament. Monett students working the event included 15 varsity and seven novice, and 12 members of the drama club. Mackenzie Shields of Neosho at left, a competitor in Lincoln-Douglas debate, radio and extemporaneous speaking, checked in at the registration table with Monett students, from left: Josue Cavazos, Assistant coaches Garrett Maxey and April Smith, Anna Krueger, Olivia Lynn, Joe Bricker, Daniela Hernandez. Back row: Ben Brown, Abby Apostol, Victoria Soriano, Blake Wright and John Cabrera. Murray Bishoff/

Neosho sweeps debate finals in unprecedented fashion

Around 400 speech and debate students from across southwest Missouri gathered at Monett High School on Friday and Saturday for the 59th annual Priscilla Bradford Speech Tournament, hosted by the MHS speech and debate program.

Approximately 200 volunteer judges from the Monett community assembled to assess the competitors in 11 events for a total of 44 rounds.

Friday night at the Bradford Speech and Debate Tournament offered the widest range of events. One of the most colorful is duo interpretation. Mariah Francisco, left, and Lilly Shea, both from Webb City High School, struck their puppet pose from “I Am Who We Are” by Megan Callaghan and Annette Yoo in one of the early rounds. Murray Bishoff/

Top finishers in sweepstakes, in order, were teams from Neosho in first, Joplin and Webb City. In the Quadrilon, an event unique to the Monett tournament, Nick Beviss of Neosho took home the title.

In what may have been a first in the history of the Monett tournament, the Neosho debate teams closed competition claiming the top four places in both Lincoln-Douglas debate and public forum debate. No final rounds were needed to determine which school would take home the title, said Gary Cook, Monett speech and debate coach.