The State Fair Community College Speech and Debate team competed in its first Missouri Association of Forensic Activities (MAFA) State Championship Tournament that Park University hosted virtually Feb. 12-13.

Teams were from 16 universities and colleges across Missouri.

SFCC students who competed were sophomore Allyson Sampson of Quincy, Illinois, and freshman Joshua Kofahl of Jefferson City.  SFCC faculty Kaila Todd and Sarah Nail are the team’s coaches.

For only the second time, the team competed under the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) style debate. NPDA is a two-on-two limited preparation format of debate. Students are given a new topic each round and have 15 minutes to prepare their case for that round.

SFCC went 2-2 in the MAFA tournament and earned third place in the Harold Lawson Debate Sweepstakes, President’s Division, and second place in Bill Cue Top Community College Sweepstakes. In the individual speech competition, Sampson earned sixth place in oratory. The team concluded its first regular season with an NPDA win-loss record of 9-2.

With the regular season behind them, Sampson and Kofahl are now preparing for two national tournaments. The first will be the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial National Convention and Tournament at the University of Central Florida in Orlando March 9-13. Pi Kappa Delta is one of the oldest forensics and debate organizations in the United States, and its biennial tournament is open to all undergraduate students.

The second tournament is the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament, which is open only to community colleges or other two-year institutions. Southeastern Illinois College will host the tournament April 4-9 in St. Charles, Missouri.

“Joining the debate team has been an incredible opportunity for me,” said Allyson Sampson. “It is immensely enjoyable. I love learning all the different styles of debate, improving my oratory skills, and just being a part of this great team.”

“Although we didn’t end up getting the top community college award, it's astounding that a first-year program can achieve this level of accomplishment,” said Joshua Kofahl. “We're raising the bar every single time we go out and compete, and the goal is to do that every single time for the next year!”

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 Joshua Kofahl and Allyson Sampson participated in the virtual MAFA State Championship Tournament Feb. 12-13 that was hosted by Park University. The team competed in NPDA debate and individual speech events and earned two sweepstakes awards. 

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