WKU forensics team starts season with success

Coaches for the forensics team read over schedules before the start of their meeting for upcoming competitions.

Anna Lawson

The WKU forensics team is on the hunt to defend their national title.

The team has garnered a national reputation for their success, capturing nine National Forensic Association Tournament championships, including the 2013 title.

Last weekend, the team began its season by not only hosting a competition, but finishing with many honors. Out of the eleven possible awards, they went home with seven.

The forensics team co-hosted the event this past weekend with Miami University. The competition lasted three days and was attended by 17 schools from all across the nation.

While WKU students did compete in the tournament, they were not able to win overall team sweepstakes awards since they were co-hosting the event.

The team was formed in 1903 before WKU’s official founding.

Jace Lux, Director of Forensics, has had a passion for the sport since he was on the team during his college years.

“I played on the team when I was at WKU in the ‘90s,” said Lux. “Back then, it was a small team, and there wasn’t an audition process. When I graduated I came back and got a job with the team in 2001. Then when the director position was available in 2010, I interviewed and got it.”

Among the competitors last weekend was Floyds Knobs Ind. sophomore Paige Settles who came in second in individual sweepstakes. Settles said that the competition was not only a lot of fun but a great experience.

Cynthiana, Ky. freshman Jackson Sanders said the event was a great start to the season.

“Going to these competitions, we get to experience a whole community, not just within our own team but with the teams we compete with as well,” he said.

Lux said being on the forensics team also gives the competitors greater confidence as writers and helps them to organize their research and become better communicators.

“It expands the paradigm of how we think,” Settles said. “It makes us think of things in a different way.”

Sanders said being on the team has made him a more effective communicator.

“It has allowed me to mold topics I’m interested in into an argument I can talk about passionately,” Sanders said.

With this much success, the team must begin preparing at least a month in advance. They have multiple practice sessions where they perform in front of other teammates as well as advisers and coaches.

“We spend around five to seven hours practicing a week,” Settles said.

Lux said the students are well prepared by the time the actual competition rolls around.

“I am a big believer that practice does make perfect,” Lux said. “We spend lots of time preparing so they aren’t worried or anxious about forgetting something. This way, they can focus and do as well as possible.”

One of the many things that makes the team unique is the diversity. The members represent 17 different states.

Lux said there is a tight bond among teammates, something he recalls from his time on the squad in college.

“These players will make connections that will last a lifetime. They are able to meet other competitors from all over the country,” he said. “When I played I formed relationships that I still have today.”

WKU looks to continue its nationally-renowned reputation. Lux said the forensics team wouldn’t be where it is today without the support and involvement of those on campus.

“We have been fortunate in that the WKU community, including its administration and students alike, have been very supportive,” Lux said. “This is not always the case with some of our competitors. We are very lucky.”

Sanders said he and his teammates hope to have their eye on the title again this year.

“I want to win the national tournament so we can bring together everyone that is associated with the team,” Settles said. “This includes the coaches and players but also the alums and all the history.”

Lux said whether or not the team captures another championship, he hopes to withhold the legacy of excellence.

“I just hope that we can continue to positively contribute to the university and make them proud,” he said.