The Dodge City High School Forensics team continued their success in 2019 season with a two-day trip to the Lawrence High School Forensics Invitational in Lawrence.

Sixteen students and two coaches piled into two Suburbans that traveled across Kansas to compete in a tournament that no one could remember DCHS competing in anytime in recent memory.

Although the team did not have enough competitors to qualify for Sweeps, they were still able to compete and win in individual events.

The tournament featured 20 schools with over 400 students competing in the tournament’s 11 events.

It began on Feb. 1 with a Novice Division tournament comprised of students in their first year in forensics.

DCHS had six students compete in the Novice Division and managed to take home five medals.

Gage Banks took 1st Place in Oral Interpretation of Poetry. He also went undefeated in all rounds putting in an impressive 1st place in all three rounds.

Eduardo Verduzco took 2nd place in Humorous Interpretation; Glenn Gillespie took 4th in Oral Interpretation of Prose; Dabin Noh took 5th in Humorous Interpretation and Angel Estrella took 6th place in Dramatic Interpretation.

Destiny Harris competed but did not place.

The DCHS varsity students faced even tougher competition with events that featured as many as 41 competitors vying for those coveted top six who compete in finals.

Angel Amaro, Halle Robinson, Jana Garcia, Ximena Cervantes, Crystal Montalvo, Carolina Gallegos, Gage Banks, and Allison Haselhorst all came up short of breaking into finals (Allison Haselhorst missed finals by a heartbreaking one point short).

"These students may feel disappointed by the end results but there’s no reason for that," said DCHS Forensics coach Johnny Dunlap. "They competed in a large tournament with some fierce competition from other 6A schools. "They now see what the competition can do, and they’ll step up their game."

Assistant coach John Alfrey added, "We looked up the phrase in Latin that I’ve said to them at every tournament we’ve gone to. The phrase is 'Do Better' which is 'Melius Facit' in Latin.

"It’s going to be our new motto. Even if a student wins a round, we’ll tell them 'Melius Facit' because they can always do better."

The biggest success came from Arden Ingram, Lizette Moreno, Jana Garcia, and Kylee Smith who all broke into the final round.

Arden Ingram placed 3rd in Dramatic Interpretation overall (2nd in the Final Round); Lizette Moreno and Jana Garcia placed 3rd in Duo Interpretation; Kylee Smith took 1st place overall (and 1st place in the Final Round) in Dramatic Interpretation, marking her second tournament win this season.

DCHS Red Demon Forensics will next compete at the Topeka High School Invitational Tournament in Topeka on Saturday, Feb. 16.

"We’re definitely trying to go to as many 6A tournaments as we can this year, budget permitting," said Dunlap. "As one of the largest high schools in the state, we should be a powerhouse forensics program, and the only way we’re going to get there is by competing against other powerhouse programs."