The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 14, 2013

Danville debate team first at National Forensic League district tournament

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

DANVILLE — DANVILLE — With his team placing first at this past weekend’s National Forensic League district tournament, departing coach Mike Nailor is confident his students will be in good hands next year.

“They’ve done a wonderful job this year,” said Nailor of the Danville High School forensics team and coaches. Overall, the Danville team placed first out of all 23 competing schools from central and eastern Pennsylvania.

At the Philadelphia-based tournament, which closed the forensics team’s regular season, 14 Danville members competed at LaSalle College High School for the honor of representing the Valley Forge District at the National Forensic League’s national tournament in Birmingham, Alabama this June.

Seniors Ryan Conrad and Ben Fait were undefeated in seven rounds of Public Forum debate on the topic “Resolved: The U.S. government should not require its citizens to have health insurance.” They won first place and a qualifying berth in the national tournament for the third year running. In addition, senior Steven Zhang became the first Danville student to be a national qualifier in each of his four years of competition. Steven took first place slots in both congressional debate house A, and international extemporaneous speaking, and finished second in domestic extemporaneous speaking, and will compete in Alabama in the international category.

Senior Talha Mukhtar finished in second place in the congressional debate senate, which secured him a berth at the national tournament.

Nailor had previously been a teacher at Danville High School and coach of the forensics team for 18 years. Last July, he left Danville to take a job in the education department of Susquehanna University.

“I’m trying to get them over the transition of my switch to Susquehanna University,” said Nailor, whose coaching role was reduced this season. “Day coaching is really hard, but I managed to keep a schedule with some of the other kids.”