In a tournament in which it was not eligible to win any sweepstakes trophies, the Dodge City High School debate team was more than happy to have all three of the duos entered secure winning records and to have one individual claim top honors as the meet’s outstanding speaker.

Three teams of Demon debaters compiled a composite 10-5 record in the two days of competition at the Tom Kelly Invitational held at Hutchinson High School this past weekend.

The squad of Aria Knedler and Tyler Pipenger battled back from a first round loss to post a 4-1 ledger and earn a berth in the quarterfinals as the second-seeded team.

However, a split ballot loss to Wichita East in that match ended their day in fourth place.

Knedler completed her first five rounds with just nine speaker points to earn a medal as the meet’s top individual speaker.

The two other DCHS duos were both 3-2 at the meet but narrowly missed qualifying for the out rounds on a series of tie-breakers.

The team of Amy Soberanes and John Pinkerton were eliminated on the basis of 25 speaker points while Alejandro Rangel and Daniel Soriano were right behind with 26 speaks.

"This tournament, unlike most others, focuses on the performances of pairs and individuals rather than an overall team record," said DCHS debate coach Steve Ray. "It brings in some of the top debaters in the state, including many of last year’s state qualifiers from the Kansas City and Wichita areas.

"We don’t normally participate in this kind of meet because many of our novices were participating at the same time in an educational event in Garden City, though, and because many of our other varsity members were there to assist them, we felt like competing in a tourney like the one in Hutch could be a good experience.

"I think we learned a lot about ourselves and our potential at this meet. The competition was as strong as any you would find at anytime, anywhere in the state this year. We more than represented ourselves and our school well."

The Demon debaters will be in competition again next week when they travel to Hays High School for the Arrowhead Invitational Debate Tournament.