No team has dominated the Halstead Dragon Debate Tournament like the squad from Dodge City High School for the past four years, the team won the sweepstakes twice and finished runners-up twice.


However, the Demons debate team missed keeping the winning streak alive on Saturday, Sept. 26 when they came home from the tournament empty-handed.


"We have had a lot of success at this meet in the past few years, so we were excited about our chances again this year," said Dodge City debate coach Steve Ray. "However, the pandemic has forced all tournaments to be conducted online in a virtual format.


"That is changing the way we compete completely."


According to Ray, of the eight debaters, the team went 8-8, finishing just outside of team awards and individual medals.


Outdistancing the field of 29 schools from two states were winners Osage City.


The best DCHS performance at the meet came from the novice pair Alejandra Del Real and Leslie Galdamez, finishing 3-1 tying for eighth among 37 teams.


Galdamez earned seven speaker points on the day.


"Another element working against us is the fact that teams no longer travel to tournaments so there is no reason not to venture out and compete in meets that would have been considered too far away in recent years," Ray said. "The result is tournaments like the one in Halstead had nearly twice the competitors as in previous years."


In the varsity division, the senior team of Deymi Martinez and Mariela Lopez went 2-2 record with 1 speaker point in the tournament. Lopez earned seven speaker points which led all DCHS entrants.


The team of Joel Soto and Mariana Ausmus, went 2-2 with 21 speaker points and the team of Yesenia Guzman and Camillah Khan, finished at 1-3 with two split decisions and 19 speaker points on the day.


The DCHS debate team will next compete in the Pittsburg Debate Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 3. It will mark the first time DCHS has competed in the tournament.


To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com