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Walters State Debate team wins more awards
November 22, 2016

The Walters State Debate team's fourth tournament of the semester led to more awards for the Speaking Senators. 

The freshman team of Daniel Kish and Jake Muscari, both of Morristown, advanced to quarter finals at the Tennessee Porch Swing Tournament hosted by Carson-Newman University. Both debaters also captured awards for their speaking ability. 

The novice pair's accomplishments are particularly impressive given that they were in the same bracket with varsity debaters. Walters State was the only two-year college in the field, which included Purdue University, Belmont, Covenant, North Georgia and the host school, Carson-Newman.

Walters State took six debaters to the tournament this year after 16 Speaking Senators participated in the same tournament last year. The reason for the smaller number is simple, debaters are heavily involved in other events at the college. The most experienced debaters attended Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature in Nashville this weekend while others who would be a part of debate were competing with the Ethics Bowl team in Clemson, South Carolina. 

"The fact that our debaters performed so well against a tough field of four-year schools while our student leadership had other special opportunities that took them elsewhere is indicative of the depth our team is blessed to have," said Robert E. Pratt, II who serves as director of debate and teaches Speech at Walters State.

Last year, a school record 24 people debated for Walters State at least once and that growth is continuing with new arrivals joining the team each semester. Debate plans to host its second tournament of the year at Walters State's Sevier County Campus on Feb. 3 and 4. 

All students are welcome to become a part of the debate team. For more information, contact Pratt at 423-585-6952 or by email at

In the photo: From left, Eve Winstead, Robert Sanchez, Daniel Kish, Jake Muscari, Rob Pratt, Rebekah Frith, and Storm Heselschwerdt.