WSCC debate team shows well at tournament

Published 1:06 pm Monday, October 23, 2023


The Walters State Debate Team started the season with a new coach and a good showing at its first debate during the 18th Annual Smoky Mountains Debate Tournament held on the Walters State Morristown Campus.

Returning state champion Chris Cox, a music major from Morristown, earned top varsity speaker in the field. Cox and his partner Hannah Stoneman, a general studies major from Knoxville, advanced to semifinals with a perfect 4-0 record in preliminary rounds before falling to a team from Middle Tennessee State University. Lorna Baxley, a journalism major from Morristown, picked up a fifth-place beginning novice speaker award in her first collegiate tournament.

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“I couldn’t be prouder of our new coach, Belle Elliott, and her entire team,” said Rob Pratt, Dean of the Division of Humanities at Walters State. Pratt served as coach for the previous eight years. “Ms. Elliott brings strong experience as a former collegiate competitor, and we believe she’ll continue to build on our rich traditions.”

Elliott, a native of Odessa, Texas, competed at West Texas A&M University as an undergraduate. She holds a master’s degree from Kansas State University. Elliott came to Walters State this fall after teaching in Idaho. In addition to coaching debate, she is an instructor of speech communications.

The Debate Team will compete next in Cleveland State Community College’s Cougar Classic Tournament.