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Local teens win this year's National Speech and Debate Tournament

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Two Hattiesburg High alums not only competed, but won this year's National Speech and Debate Tournament.

The tournament was held in Birmingham, Ala., last month, with more than 4,000 qualifying competitors.

Derek Collins and Kerrington Anderson were able to call themselves national champions, and also won some scholarship money.

They are the first duo out of Mississippi to win nationals.

"We were just really excited and we didn't really have any nerves or anything. Our coaches were reassuring us of all the hard work that we had done. We walked out there and we just had fun out there," said Collins.

"I knew what it took to get to the final round stage. So, it's like if you just push yourself a little bit more you'll be able to win the national championship. And with my coaches, teammates, and family, and parents that supported me throughout the whole entire year, I just kept working hard and kept trying to achieve my goal of becoming a national champion, and that’s what happened," said Anderson.

Both, Collins and Anderson earned themselves a scholarship to attend William Carey University and be on the speech and debate team.



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