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Students compete at UIL State Congressional Debate

Senior Colby Menefee and sophomore Omar Almeida were in for hours of competition when they traveled to Austin to compete in the UIL State Congressional Debate meet last week. Speech and Debate coach Melonie Menefee and senior Gina Jones, an alternate, accompanied the two boys to the meet, which took place over two days, with seven hours of competition each day. 

“It was my first time placing at State Congress, and it’s something that I’ve been working towards for several years.”

– Colby Menefee
Senior Colby Menefee debated in the state Capitol for finals. Menefee placed fourth in 3A competition. (menefee)

“I was excited about the trip and having both of them compete,” Menefee said. “I’m always very nervous during meets, not just for Colby, but for all of my students.”

After much debating, Menefee placed first in his room, and ultimately placed fourth overall. This was his second year to advance to finals, and it is the first time a BHS student has ever placed at UIL State Congress. 

“It was my first time placing at State Congress, and it’s something that I’ve been working towards for several years,” Menefee said. “I felt really good when I got done debating; I knew that I’d done better than the year before.” 

Although Almeida received eighth in his room, missing finals by two spots, he said he “learned a lot from State Congress” and hopes to advance to finals next year.

“This was my first year making it to State Congress, and just the fact that I had the opportunity and skill to go to State was really overwhelming,” Almeida said. “Seeing that I was so close for just my first year of Congress was surreal because there were seniors who had done Congress all four years that placed lower, so, in a way, it gave me a sense of confidence that next year will be really good.”

Menefee was proud of their performances and hopes to continue to have success in the event. 

“I think Omar coming so close to finals means we have a great shot at more success in the future,” Menefee said. “Of course, since I am his mom as well as his coach, I was very excited to see Colby have a successful meet. They both did a great job and represented BHS well.”