TJC's Speech and Debate Team wins 2 national titles

Tyler - Tyler Junior College's Speech and Debate Team is celebrating two new national titles after competing against dozens of schools in Florida and Colorado.
The team puts in dozens of hours each week before any competition.

They must be prepared for anything because judges could have them debate on topics ranging from national policies to international affairs.
M'Liss Hindman, director of the program, says putting in the hard work in the classroom is important.
 
"You have to know which are the best words to use, what are the best tactics to use in several situations," said Hindman.

The students say it's about knowing what arguments should be made and how judges will be persuaded.

"The affirmative [side] gives their argument, then the negative gives their arguments, and then you go back-and-forth," said Aaron Kelley, co-captain of the team. "You're constantly thinking how I can exploit the weaknesses from my opponent's argument. It's not just arguing it's about thinking what I need to say."
 
Recently, the TJC Speech and Debate Team won two national titles. They placed first as the top community college at the American Forensics Association's National Tournament in Colorado.
 
The team dominated in their division at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Florida by taking home the golden overall place.
 
These recognitions validate the students' hard work, but also the success of the TJC program,

"The Speech and Debate Team is the only reason why I'm at TJC," said co-captain Alex Dickson.  "We have a tradition of being an amazing speech and debate team program and we are known among the nation for that."

The head coach says TJC has more than 430 team and individual awards this year. That includes a sweepstakes award at every tournament they attended except one.

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