Demon debaters capture two tourney trophies

Vincent Marshall
The DCHS debate team sent eight squads to two tournaments hosted by Great Bend and Wichita Collegiate and came away with a first- and a second-place trophy respectively. Team members include Xania Cobian, Vivian Nguyen, Trinady Luangchai, Angelica Plata, Brennan Carbajal, Charlee Bitler, Alexandra Morales, Erica Rodriguez, Brian Nguyen, Christopher Montford, Payton Dunn, Yamir Gardea, Owen Wesley, Joel Soto and Hever Arjon.

The Dodge City High School debate team continued its winning streak this past week as the team won two tournaments in Great Bend and Wichita.

At the 52nd Tournament of Champions hosted by Great Bend High School, the DCHS team posted an 11-1 mark to take the top prize out of 21 schools, besting second place Chanute, 8-4, and four better than third-place Buhler, 7-5.

It was the sixth time in eight years the Red Demons won the debate tournament of champions.

The duo of Brian Nguyen and Joel Soto, went 4-0 on the day winning first in the open division, while the team of Vivian Nguyen and Xania Cobian, finished first in the novice division with a 4-0 mark.

The team of Trinady Luangchai and Angelica Plata went 3-1 and earned sixth place in the junior varsity division.

The pair of Hever Arjon and Christopher Montford went 2-2 and placed 18th among the 32 open teams, qualifying them along with Soto and Nguyen for the 6A state meet in January.

“Brian and Joel have really been working very hard this past week, researching and developing evidence to use to strengthen their cases and their negative arguments, and it has not only helped them but their efforts have really helped the entire team,” said DCHS coach Steve Ray. “Our two novices have also put in a great deal of time creating an affirmative case that is well beyond their years.

"It is easy to see that hard work has been the key to our recent success.”

At the sweepstakes competition at the Wichita Collegiate High School Virtual Debate Tournament, the debate team also posted 11-1, taking second place behind undefeated champions out of Pittsburg.

Payton Dunn and Brennan Carbajal compiled a perfect 4-0 mark in the novice division for the second straight week, placing them second among 29 teams, a single speaker point out of first.

Placing ninth was the pair of Erica Rodriguez and Alayna Holecek with a 3-1 record while the team of Owen Wesley and Yamir Gardea went 2-2 on the day.

Junior varsity debaters Charlee Bitler and Alexandra Morales went out with a 4-0 ledger of their own that placed them third in the division.

“I was really proud of all of our debaters today,” Ray said. “Taking the top spots two divisions at a tournament and having four out of eight teams entered earn medals in tournaments that had so many quality schools is quite an accomplishment.

"I also think it was good for us to meet teams from various parts of Kansas. It will definitely help us prepare for the state tournament.”

This weekend, the debate team will compete in the Holy Cow Debate Tournament hosted by McPherson High School before Thanksgiving break.

The team will then be back on Dec. 5 when it participates in tournaments hosted by Clay Center and Garden City high schools.

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