Menefee first BHS student to qualify for state TFA meet

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Kaline Martinez

The Texas Forensic Association is an upper-level speech and debate circuit that the BHS team joined a year ago. One of senior Colby Menefee’s goals for his last year on the team was to qualify to compete at the state TFA competition, and last month, he accomplished that goal. He will compete in El Paso in March. 

Buffalo speech and debate members have always competed in the UIL circuit. About six years ago, they started competing with the National Speech and Debate Association, and have made it to their national contest for the past five years. When they joined TFA, they knew meeting the requirements to compete at the annual state contest would be tough, as they had to earn points by placing at specially-designated TFA tournaments, competing against schools that are often much larger. 

“I had to attend special tournaments in order to earn points,” Menefee said. “It was quite hard to place at some of the meets because there are students competing from Houston, Austin, and the Metroplex, and a lot of them are 5A and 6A schools.”

In order to qualify for TFA, Menefee had to attend specific speech tournaments to earn 12 points, which vary on placement. He competed at Lindale High School, Waco, China Spring, and Austin. The event he qualified in is Informative. 

“I have been working really hard to achieve this goal of mine for a very long time,” Menefee said. “I’m very excited to be representing Buffalo as the first one to qualify for this.”

Menefee is the first-ever in Buffalo Speech and Debate team to qualify for the TFA speech meet. He will compete in multiple rounds in El Paso starting March 5. 

“It is going to be a tough competition, but I think he is capable of pulling it off if he works hard,” speech coach Melonie Menefee said. “He has a really busy spring with CX district qualifiers and NSDA national qualifiers but if he keeps his focus and remembers to continue working on this, then he should be okay.”