Mention the wonderful feeling of being No. 1 and for once you get no argument from the college of Eastern Utah speech and debate squad. In fact their smiles become so broad that for the first time in recent history they are speechless and their coaches reflect equal satisfaction.
The team from two-year CEU is ranked No. 1 in the Rocky Mountain Region and No. 6 on the national list. The lists include four-year schools.Coach Neil Warren said, "We have always had good squads, but with 25 students this year we have more good speakers." The squad is so large that not all of them can go to all the tournaments, but different teams win at different times.
In six tournaments the squad won sweepstakes awards in all but one.
At Southern Utah University the team compiled 126 points while second place Palomar College from Southern California got 58 points. Before school began last fall, CEU gained 11 awards from a meet at the University of Utah and followed this by bringing home 23 trophies and nine other awards from a Ricks College meet. CEU is ranked 1st in cross-examination debate.
At Santa Rose Invitational Speech Tourney, CEU took first place in the junior division.
All this compounds a happy problem at CEU. What do you do with the trophies? They fill several trophy cases including two near the speech and debate room which holds only those from this year.
"We have been lucky," Warren said. "If there is a secret for success," he said, "it's to have great kids, treat them right, expect them to win and prepare them to win."
Warren has another ingredient in his formula. For the first time in 31 years of coaching, he has an assistant, Scott Pullan, formerly of Davis High School.
Warren said, "People say you must be able to take it easy now." But with 25 students on the squad there is double the work. There is enough to keep both coaches busy.