Patriot Debate Team Celebrates Stellar 2022-2023 Season

Debate Team holding trophies

As Dallas Baptist University's Debate Team brings the 2022-2023 season to a close, yearlong rankings from the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) place DBU as one of the most dominant and competitive forensics programs nationwide. Shattering expectations for a second-year program, DBU rose to the top of all 200 competing universities, finishing the season with the highest combined squad rankings in the Novice, Junior Varsity, and Varsity divisions, being crowned the #1 Scholastic program in the United States. Adding to their growing list of awards, DBU also took home many more squad titles, never failing to rank amongst the top five in every set of both team (TIPDA) and individual (IPDA) sweepstakes for the season:

  • #1 Junior Varsity IPDA Season-Long Squad (first of 55 universities)
  • #3 Varsity IPDA Season-Long Squad (third of 84 universities)
  • #3 Novice IPDA Season-Long Squad (third of 86 universities)
  • #4 Team IPDA Season-Long Squad (fourth of 21 universities)
  • #4 Founders Season-Long Program (fourth of 200 universities)

Competing at nine tournaments, DBU visited host universities in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and ultimately, the national championship in Boise, Idaho, bringing home 185 awards and debating 1,129 rounds on topics ranging from education, to healthcare, current events, sports, economics, national security, and pop culture.

In the novice IPDA division, Felicity Newby (Freshman - English Major), distinguished herself as not only the seventh highest ranked novice debater of the season, but also as both the reigning national and season-long picture of Jess Perez participating in a debate roundspeaking champion in Novice IPDA, rising to the top of her 329 person-field and cementing her placement as the most decorated novice speaker in DBU's history. In addition to Newby, Gregory Self (Sophomore - Art Major) and Sophia Hathcock (Sophomore - Finance Major) rose above the competition, both ranking within the top ten Novice debaters for the season, coming in ninth and tenth place, respectively. Furthermore, Self was awarded the third place National Speaking title at the Championship Tournament in Boise, Idaho, ranking him within the top 3% of Novices represented. Overall, DBU's Novice squad won a staggering 223 rounds this year, ranking as the third best Novice program out of the 86 universities competing nationwide.

In the Junior Varsity IPDA division, Jess Perez (Sophomore - Broadcast & Digital Media Major) ranked as the fifth place JV debater for the season, winning 74% of her rounds for the year. In addition to her top five placement as a debater, Perez joined Newby as a season-long speaking champion, being awarded the title of first place speaker for the season, ranking above all 161 of her competitors in the Junior Varsity division. Furthermore, in addition to the successes of Perez, Junior Varsity debaters, Brennan Schiltz (Freshman - Finance Major) and Dayton Thomas (Senior - Christian Studies Major), also distinguished themselves over the course of the year, ranking as the ninth and tenth place debaters for the season, respectively, with Schiltz doing so after competing in only a mere four tournaments. Overall, DBU's Junior Varsity program rose above the competition from each of the 55 collegiate programs represented nationwide, ranking as the overall first place season champions for the 2022-2023 year.

In Varsity, the most competitive division offered by the IPDA, Greyson Goebel (Senior - Politics Philosophy & Economics Major) was recognized as both the second place debater and speaker of the division's 269 competitors. With an 81% win rate, Goebel advanced to elimination rounds at every tournament of the season, and ultimately, his achievements earned him the distinguished, invitational honor of serving as the 2023-2024 student representative to the International Public Debate Association's Governing Board, a position only granted to one student on the circuit each year. Additionally, Luke Castle (Junior - Finance Major), ranked as the seventh place varsity debater for the season, advancing to eliminations at each of the competitions that he attended. Furthermore, both Goebel and Castle earned speaking awards for their performance at nationals, taking fourth and seventh place at the championship, championship tournament, respectively. Ultimately, DBU's varsity squad garnered a 65% overall win rate for the year—the highest average of any other DBU squad—placing them as the third most accomplished Varsity program of the 84 competing universities across the United States.

Beginning an experimental competitive schedule in 2022, DBU's professional division squad consisted of Joseph Alcazar (B.A. - Politics Philosophy & Economics) and in the Spring 2023 semester, Brennan Schiltz. Both competitors garnered preliminary season speaking awards and rendered performances that had them routinely advancing to elimination rounds throughout the year, with Schiltz going so far as to earn the title of eighth place speaker at the National Championship Tournament in Boise, Idaho.

Lastly, in the varsity team division (TIPDA), the duo of Luke Castle & Brennan Schiltz ranked as the fourth place team for the season, rising to a top position amongst the division's 84 competitive partnerships. Furthermore, Greyson Goebel ranked as the third place speaker for the season, granting DBU another season-long podium finish in a field of 168 debaters. Additionally, at the TIPDA national tournament in Conway, Arkansas, Greyson and Cade Goebel (Freshman - Music Business Major) ranked as semifinalists at the championship, with further awards going to G. Goebel and Justin Hamilton (Junior - Politics Philosophy & Economics Major) as the fifth and eighth place championship speakers, respectively.

DBU's debate team is student led and coached by a four member officer board: Greyson Goebel (President & Head Coach), Katy Branch (Vice President), Justin Hamilton (Treasurer & Statistician), and Luke Castlepicture of the DBU Debate team standing in front of the chapel (Outreach Coordinator) with help from the program's faculty sponsor, Jonathan Teat (Vice President for Administration and Enrollment). In addition to leadership, DBU debate is represented by Katelyn Ah Puck, Joseph Alcazar, Sofia Alcazar, Valerie Colbert, Alexis Farino, Cade Goebel, Sophia Hathcock, Bethany Inman, Madison Kitner, Felicity Newby, Mariah Parker, Jess Perez, Todd Roskop, Brennan Schiltz, Gregory Self, and Dayton Thomas.

Applications to join the team open every fall, and interested students can contact the team at or visit the Debate website for more information.

Written by Greyson Goebel

Greyson Goebel is the 2022-2023 President, Head Coach, and Co-Founder of the Patriot Debate Team at Dallas Baptist University.