Nationally ranked high school senior to join forensics

Brian Anderson, a senior from LaRue County High School, poses for a portrait in Gordon Wilson Hall, on Feb. 6, 2015. Anderson has just signed with WKU for the forensics speech and debate team. Emily Kask/HERALD


With 10 world championships and over 20 state championships, the WKU forensics team looks to expand its legacy with each class.  

High school senior, Brian Anderson hopes to help continue those trends. 

The new recruit from LaRue County High School is among the top 10 extemporaneous speakers in the U.S., according to the National Rankings for High School Speech and Debate website. He’s also highly ranked in other speech and debate categories on both state and national levels. 

Anderson attributed success to his rigorous practice schedule. 

“I spend an hour everyday researching and cutting sources and filing,” he said. “I’ll usually give two or three practice speeches a week. So, I’ll practice probably five to six hours during the week and then all day Saturday. And, usually, we have Sunday practice for three hours, where I work with other people on their pieces.”

Competitors in extemporaneous speaking must be knowledgeable in current events prior to competition and apply that information to their speeches. 

One reason Anderson enjoys extemporaneous speaking is the fact that there is always something new to learn. 

Ultimately, Anderson believes that hard work and practice are the keys to success. 

Before competitions, Anderson typically listens to classic rock musicians like Blue Oyster Cult and Lenny Kravitz to mentally prepare. 

While forensics is often considered to be an individual event, the team and coaches also play a tremendous role in obtaining success. 

“I was very blessed to be on the team that I am,” Anderson said. “If I’ve seen far, it is because I’ve stood on the shoulders of giants. All of my coaches came from WKU’s program, so it is a regular thing for LaRue to send kids to WKU.” 

Hodgenville freshman Curtis Milby, a broadcasting student and a current member of WKU’s forensics team, is also from LaRue County High School. 

“[Anderson’s recruitment] is definitely exciting,” he said. “I think LaRue makes up a decent portion of WKU’s team, and it makes me happy to have people I’ve known and worked with in the past to work with again. Having Anderson there will be an additional thrill.” 

Ganer Newman, the director of WKU forensics, is also excited to have Anderson on board. 

“Last year and this year, Anderson really staked his claim as one of the best speakers in the country,” Newman said. “We’re absolutely excited to have Brian with us. He’s an incredibly kind person, a really great teammate and he’ll be a leader here, as a student and as a competitor for WKU forensics.”

In addition to competing with the forensics team, Anderson has also been accepted into the Chinese Flagship program and the Honors College. 

Over the course of his time at WKU, Anderson’s goals include winning a national championship, mastering the Chinese language and joining student government to give back to the university. Following his graduation, he intends to pursue Stanford or Yale. 

When asked about his decision to attend WKU and participate with the team, Anderson emphatically said, “We’re the best.” 

“We are the oldest and most successful student organization on campus,” Newman said on the team’s webpage. “Our program has won more national forensics titles in the last 10 years than any other team in the country.”

Newman is looking forward to another successful year for the team. 

“We’re very excited about the students we have joining us on campus,” he said. “Our recruitment process is always ongoing, but this year we’re very excited about this incoming freshman class.”