Wesley Rice

How many years have you been coaching?

 I've been a head coach for 7 years (6 of them in Wichita at Maize South High School) and an assistant coach for 3 additional years (6 years, if you also count the three years when I helped out unofficially in Verdigris, OK).

What are some achievements and awards that you would like to highlight?

State Awards -- I've coached state finalists in every Kansas event and State Champions in HI in both Kansas & Oklahoma.

National Qualifiers/Awards -- I've qualified students to NSDA Nationals every year that I've coached and have qualified students in every single individual event (plus Student Congress & Policy debate).

Since its charter year in 2009, Maize South High School has never been without a national qualifier.

Last year at Nats, I coached a student to Semis in Student Congress. And prior to that, I've coached students at Nats to quarterfinal finishes in Expository & OO, as well as a 5th place finish in Expository in 2010.

Current Achievements -- My forensics and debate squad is fairly small this year. But we still managed to achieve a 1st place sweeps at the Newton Debate tournament last fall, as well as 1st place sweeps at the Valley Center Forensics tournament and 2nd place finishes at Bluestem & Wichita Southeast this past month.

What is your favorite thing about coaching?

My favorite thing about coaching is watching my students during awards assemblies when they experience a major achievement (whether placing 3rd at their first tournament, or qualifying for Nats the very first time). The pure, joyful emotions on their faces are palpable and contagious.

I also love igniting the creative spark when working with students one-on-one.

What are some of your favorite memories from camp?

 As a camper, I remember staying up late one night in my dorm room with my humorous duet partner and blocking an entire song & dance routine for our intro. And the next night we stayed up late again, but spent the whole time coming up with ridiculous knock-knock jokes.

As a staff member, I've always enjoyed hosting the improv comedy night.

What do you want campers in your squad to get out of camp?

 I want each of my squad members to end the week with three things:
A) Knowledge/skills about performing that they've learned & developed throughout the week.
B) A desire to continue working on their events after camp and into the school-year.
C) And new connections/friendships with fellow campers and staff who can serve as mutual support for each other for years to come.

Are there other things you want to share?

I love comic books, strategy games, and movies. And my favorite minor characters in Game of Thrones are Podrick Payne & the Queen of Thorns. So if any campers ever want to just hang out and discuss some aspect of geek culture, I'm their man.