SM Northwest’s Julian Kuffour and Emmanuel Osei take 2nd in National Catholic Forensics League Grand National Tournament

Julian Kuffour (left) and Emmanuel Osei took 2nd place in the National Catholic Forensics League Grand National Tournament

SM Northwest’s Julian Kuffour and Emmanuel Osei took second place in the country in the National Catholic Forensics League Grand National Tournament this weekend in Washington, D.C.

It’s not the first time the duo — who are cousins — have found themselves holding hardware after a debate tourney. In January, the won the KSHSAA two-speaker state championship.

Kuffour and Osei qualified for the National Catholic Forensics League finals back in December, and headed into the weekend knowing they would be squaring off against some of the top teams in the country. But they sailed through their opening rounds, making it to the finals without dropping a single elimination ballot.

Remarkably, all four teams that advanced to the semi-finals were from Kansas, continuing a trend of success for debate teams from the state. A Kansas team has been in the NCFL Grand National finals every year since 2013, and a Kansas team has won the title each year since 2015.

Kuffour and Osei found themselves facing off against Sumaya Hussaini and Rachel Holzer of Blue Valley Southwest, which won last year’s title.

In the end, the judges awarded Hussaini and Holzer the title on a split ballot of 3-2, making Blue Valley Southwest just the second school in the past 20 years to win back-to-back titles.