Piedmont College Forensics and Debate team members
include, front from left, Hannah Thomas, Katheryn Knarr,
and Ethan McGowan; back: Sam Thomas, coach Janice Moss,
Sarah Smagur, and Brandon Callahan. Not pictured are
Rusty Crumley and Augusta Gailey.

Forensics team heads for national tournament
Three Piedmont College students will be at Eastern Michigan University in April to compete in the National Forensics Association Championship Tournament, after taking home three first-place awards at the Georgia forensics tournament held recently at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta.

Katheryn Knarr, a senior from Chickamauga, captured first place in both Editorial Impromptu speaking and won the Forensics Pentathalon, which included separate scores for Editorial Impromptu (second), Impromptu (fourth), Poetry (fourth), Persuasion (fifth) and Informative speaking (fourth). This is Knarr's third consecutive first-place finish at the Georgia Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Championship.

Sarah Smagur, a junior from Clarkesville, won first place in Poetry, fifth in Editorial Impromptu, and seventh in Impromptu. Teammate Brittany Sharer, a freshman from Pendergrass, took fifth place in Poetry and seventh in Editorial Impromptu speaking at her first state tournament.

The team is coached by Piedmont speech professor Dr. Janice Moss, who also coaches the school's Debate Team, which scored some recent victories at the University of North Georgia's Jacobs Petrel Classic Tournament in Oakwood.

Piedmont debaters Smagur and Brandon Callahan of Clayton won the varsity semi-finals and advanced to the final round, finishing in second place.  Also, Augusta Gailey of Gainesville won the second-place varsity debate speaker award, and Piedmont won the third-place debate team sweepstakes award. Sam Thomas of Jefferson, Ethan McGowan of Baldwin, Hannah Thomas of Jefferson, and Gailey won varsity debate rounds against teams from Mercer University and the University of North Georgia.

In January, the Debate Team won the Volunteer Classic International Parliamentary Debate Association Tournament (IPDA) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Callahan, a senior, won the varsity semi-finals and advanced to the final round, finishing in first place. Piedmont debaters participated in both IPDA and NPDA debate competitions winning 16 awards. The team also won several speaker awards, team sweepstakes awards, quarter and semi-finalist awards.