Demon debaters place in Clay Center, Garden City

Vincent Marshall
A group of 16 debaters from Dodge City High School competed at two tournaments this past weekend, winning the sweepstakes title at the Clay Center Tournament. Team members include Autumn Klein, Mariela Lopez, Yesenia Guzman, Camillah Khan, Trinady Luangchai, Brian Nguyen and Owen Wesley and Joel Soto, Angelica Plata, Leslie Galdamez, Alejandra Del Real, Hever Arjon, Christopher Montford and Yamir Gardena.

The Dodge City High School debate team was able to run away with top honors in the Tiger Virtual Debate Tournament hosted by Clay Center High School by compiling a four-team record of 12-4 on Dec. 5.

A second squad of Demon debaters placed fourth at Garden City’s WKCA Debate Tournament on the same day.

According to DCHS debate coach Steve Ray, three of the four Dodge City teams earned medals to help the squad to the sweepstakes title for the second time in three years. They were runners-up on the other occasion.

At Clay Center, leading the way for DCHS was the senior duo of Christopher Montford and Hever Arjon.

The duo went 4-0 on the day for the second straight week of competition, earning them first place in the open division.

The team of Yesenia Guzman and Camillah Khan won three straight rounds and placed second in the same division after overcoming a first-round loss.

In the novice division, the team of Alejandra Del Real and Leslie Galdamez earned a 3-1 record to take sixth place, with their only loss to the eventual champions from Halstead.

The junior varsity pair of Trinady Luangchai and Angelica Plata finished with a 2-2 mark but were outside of medal consideration.

“I am so pleased with the performance of all four of the teams,” said Ray. “There were a lot of schools with quality programs entered in the tournament, which meant that this was the kind of competition we will see when we go to the state meet next month.

"To have three Dodge City teams post winning records and win medals against this kind of competition means that they all performed at a very high level this week.”

At the Garden City WKCA Tournament, four pairs entered and came away with a combined 8-8 mark, tying for third place among 22 schools.

In the novice division, the team of Owen Wesley and Yamir Gardea finished with a 3-1 record, earning 10th place.

Seniors Mariela Lopez and Deymi Martinez posted a 2-2 record and finished 13th, while the team of Uvia Martinez and Briseida Barrera compiled a 2-2 ledger and placed 18th.

The pair of Brian Nguyen and Joel Soto went 1-3.

“The season is winding down pretty quickly,” said Ray. “We have just one more weekend of competition left. We have already qualified a number of debaters for the Kansas 6A State Tournament next week, but we still have a few more who still have work to do to qualify.

"It’s going to be challenging, but it’s still very possible. They just have to make the most of their opportunities.”

The debate regular season will conclude Saturday with eight Dodge City debaters competing at a four-speaker tournament hosted by Moundridge High School.

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