WSCC debate team celebrates state championship

The Walters State Debate Team earned a state championship and other awards at the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association’s annual state tournament held at Belmont University in Nashville on Feb. 18th. 

Chris Cox of Morristown and Cayden Keltgen earned the varsity state championship with a final round victory over Carson-Newman University. Keltgen also placed second overall among debate speakers for his speaking skills. 

In the novice division, Robert Kurth of Mosheim and Josh Menza of New Tazewell advanced to semifinals.

These victories again show that Walters State debaters can compete with the best college and university programs our state has to offer,” said Robert E. Pratt, II, who serves as debate coach, associate professor of communication and dean of the Division of Humanities at Walters State. “We’ve worked harder than ever in a year that began last fall without a single returning debater with previous experience.”  

A former state champion played a key role in helping young debaters grow. Walters State alumni Jake Muscari, along with, Daniel Kish captured the college’s most recent debate state title, a novice state championship in 2017. Muscari has volunteered his time to help the team at practices all year.