Demon debaters enjoy outstanding performances

Vincent Marshall
By posting a combined mark of 8-4, the Dodge City High School debate team established itself as one of the top teams at the Spooky Speakers Virtual Invitational this past weekend. Team members include Noah Elias, Alejandra Del Real, Paris Rivas, Leslie Galdamez, Christopher Montford, Trinady Luangchai and Hever Arjon.

During Halloween weekend, 10 pairs of the Dodge City High School debate team competed in two tournaments, with half managing to earn spots in the top eight in those meets.

According to DCHS debate coach Steve Ray, at Olathe East’s Spooky Speakers Debate Tournament, three DCHS teams placed in the top seven, and at Ad Astra Spooktacular in Wichita, two more pairs earned honorable distinction.The virtual meet administered by Olathe East had three teams combine with a 8-4 mark, placing them in the top seven.

Finishing the day with a 2-2 mark was the pair Paris Rivas and Noah Elias in the junior varsity division, placing them fifth overall.

In the open division, the pair of Christopher Montford and Hever Arjon posted a 3-1 mark, tying them for fourth in the open division. However, the team had to settle for seventh after tie-breakers.

With a 3-1 mark, the pair of Leslie Galdamez and Alejandra Del Real claimed seventh in the novice division.

The pair of Trinady Luangchai and Camillah Khan went 1-3 and Khan left the meet midway through due to illness.

“This was a tournament loaded with excellent teams from quality programs from the Kansas City area, so we were very excited and pleased to do so well,” said Steve Ray. “There were 15 schools with 53 teams from places like Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission, and Olathe competing so we were proud to have the kind of success we had.”

In the Ad Astra online meet, a half dozen DCHS squads competed with a trio of teams combining for a 7-5 record on the day.

In the novice division, the pair of Salvador Martinez and Maybelline Morales led the way with a 3-1 ledger placing seventh while the pair of Briseida Barrera and Uvia Martinez finished with a 2-2 standard.

The JV team of Jimmy Huynh and Alexandra Morales finished with a 2-2 mark.

“In most tournaments, Salvador and Maybelline would have finished second but in this meet it was decided to use speaker performance points, which is very subjective, as the first tie-breaker instead of speaker ran,” Ray said. “That doesn’t alter the fact that we are still very proud of their performance.”

The DCHS debate team will be in action Saturday with two dozen debaters participating in the “Nothing is Normal Online Meet” hosted by Liberal High School and the Cowbell Classic Online Debate Tournament hosted by Nickerson High School —tournaments the Demons won last year.

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