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Urban Debate congratulates South showing at state


Minnesota Urban Debate sends South High a hearty congratulations for the strong showing and the hard work they put in all season, culminating in impressive showing at sectionals and state competition by:

  • Eiset Mebrahtu & Ben Phi (and Theo Niesewand)
  • Townes Nelson & Josiah Ferguson 

From Urban Debate:

We want to congratulate you on how well your students performed at the debate state championships! The team, coached by Kendall Witaszek, Erick Taggart, and Chris Stinson, did a great job!

Eiset Mebrahtu and Ben Phi were champions of the sectional tournament! 

This qualified them for the state tournament. Although Ben was not able to participate, South's alternate Theo Niesewand took his place. At the state tournament Eiset and Theo won three rounds: against Boler & Kerr from Como Park, against Akintola & Hoover from Roosevelt, and against Sauvageau & Stefanko from Rosemount. They came in 9th Place overall - just barely missing advancing to elimination debates by a small margin.


Townes Nelson and Josiah Ferguson placed second in the sectional tournament.

At State, they bested teams from St. Paul Central and Rosemount and ended the preliminary debates as the sixth seed. They advanced all the way to the Quarterfinal debate. Both had excellent individual marks  - Townes even received a perfect score in one of the preliminary debates.


Qualifying for the state tournament is a serious accomplishment that few debaters can ever reach. These students have demonstrated their commitment to learning, and for that we applaud them!