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Mississippi College

Debate Team at Mississippi College Prepares for Seven Spring 2013 Tournaments

January 14, 2013

Mississippi College debaters will take their verbal sparring skills on the road to spring 2013 tournaments in Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas.

The action begins with a January 19-20 tournament at the University of Tennessee followed by the Southern Forensics Championship Tournament at Louisiana State University-Shreveport January 25-27. Five more tournaments are up next through late March.

Debate coach Merle Ziegler is impressed with the showing by MC students in the fall, including a final tournament the team hosted on the Clinton campus in early December. The event attracted more than 70 debaters from 11 schools, stretching from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee to Tulane University in New Orleans and the University of Central Arkansas.

MC debater William Bettis of Ridgeland did exceptionally well while competing in his first tournaments in the fall and broke into the final rounds of all three events he entered.

“His best effort resulted in being a finalist in the East Texas Baptist tournament in December,” Ziegler said. “We anticipate his performance will only get better this semester.”

Newcomers Eric Anderson of Austin, Texas and Ross McCarty of Meridian competed in only one tournament in the fall, but also emerged with strong performances to make it into the final rounds.

“I believe they can improve on their records with more tournament experience,” says Ziegler, an MC communication professor.

Returning varsity debaters like Stephen Wade of Memphis and Alexandra Hendry of Ellisville round out the squad. “I believe this semester will prove to be their time to get into the final rounds and win some awards,” said Ziegler, former debate coach at Liberty University in Virginia.

A second term for President Barack Obama, the last-minute deal by Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff, gun control, USA immigration reform and turmoil in the Middle East are among the hot topics during MC’s upcoming debate season.

Other scheduled tournaments for Mississippi College include competition at Louisiana State University February 8-10. MC debaters also will travel to Bossier Parish Community College for a tournament in Louisiana February 22-24, and will visit the University of Central Arkansas March 8-10. The season closes with the IPDA National Tournament and convention at the University of Arkansas-Monticello March 21-24.

Students interested in joining the debate team should contact Merle Ziegler at mziegler@mc.edu or at 601.925.3456.

Photo: Merle Ziegler