New Tazewell student helps debate team earn 2nd in competition

Published 8:25 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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Don’t let anyone tell you that these young people can’t argue a good fight. Members of the Walters State Community College Debate Team recently finished second overall during the 13th Annual Tennessee Porch Swing Tournament. The competition was held at Carson-Newman University on Nov. 11-12.

WSCC student and New Tazewell resident Josh Menza showed his hometown and campus proud as one of four students making up the two teams that moved forward to take the coveted position.

The two pairs earned their second-place designations in the Parliamentary Debate Sweepstakes award in a field made up of strong teams from colleges and universities from across the state and region.

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Menza, a dual enrollment student from New Tazewell, and Ethan White of Sevierville advanced along with the second pair of WSCC freshmen students Cayden Keltgen of Talbott and Emily Kledzik, another dual enrollment student from Bean Station.

“Our continued success is particularly satisfying when considering that we came into this fall semester with fewer returning debaters than we’ve had at any point in my eight years as coach here,” said Robert E. Pratt II, who serves as dean of the Division of Humanities and as debate coach at Walters State. “It’s also evidence of strong teamwork as all three pairs were made up of partners who’d never debated with each other in a previous tournament.”

Walters State plans to compete in February during the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensic Association State Tournament at Belmont University.