Debate team wins again

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The Mendoza Debate Society at Lee College were named the Overall Sweepstakes Community College Champions at the first “Joseph J. Cardot Invitational,” hosted by Abilene Christian University Feb. 7-9, 2020. Braving snow and sub-freezing temperatures, Lee College Debaters also finished in Third Place in Individual Events Sweepstakes, also finishing as the Top Community College in that same sweepstakes category. Lee College extended its lead in the 2019/2020 IPDA Community College Division standings as they faced a dozen top universities and colleges from around the nation including Southern Methodist University (Texas), LSU-Shreveport (La.), University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas-Monticello, Colorado Christian University, and others.

Team standout Pamela Johnson was named the Team Debate Speaking Champion, as well as bringing home a Team Debate Quarterfinalist finish with teammate Dax Ramgoolam. Vanessa Rangel finished in Second Place in the Varsity Division, as well as finishing in 4th Place in Extemporaneous Speaking. Adam Kinder, a Lee College / Impact ECHS student, won an award in his fifth consecutive tournament as he was named a Novice Debate Quarterfinalist. Lacey Gulley was named 5th Place in Extemporaneous Speaking while Adam Naiser finished in 6th Place in Impromptu Speaking. They were joined in competition by Jessenia Cabrera, Aaliyah Castro, Ervin Fuller, Lilly Gutierrez, La’Vonte Holt, and Julio Martinez.

The team went on to win Overall Sweepstakes Community College Champions again at the Bossier Parish Community College “Eddy Shell Invitational” Feb. 14-16, 2020. Team standout Pamela Johnson continued her prolific season as she finished as the Runner-Up in Team Debate Speaking. Johnson and her partner Dax Ramgoolam added to their 2019-2020 accomplishments by finishing as Quarterfinalists in Team Debate. Over the three-day tournament, Lee College squared off against a tremendous field of 29 colleges and universities from around the nation including Abilene Christian University (Texas), Tulane University (La.), Arkansas Tech, University of Southern Mississippi, Jefferson State Community College (Ala.), Union University (Tenn.), Drury University (Mo.), and Whitworth University (Wash.).

First-year competitor Adam Kinder, currently ranked second in the nation in the Novice Division of the IPDA, medaled for the seventh consecutive tournament en route to a Double Octofinalist finish in Novice Debate. Adam Naiser followed up his strong Individual Events showing from last week’s tournament at Abilene Christian University with a Sixth Place finish in Impromptu Speaking at BPCC. They were joined in competition by Aaliyah Castro, Lacey Gulley, Julio Martinez, Vanessa Rangel, and Erica Truong.

Lee College Debaters will wrap up the 2019/2020 IPDA regular season Feb. 28-March 1, 2020, at the University of Texas-Tyler’s second annual “Tournament of Roses” in Tyler, Texas. The Mendoza Debate Society is coached by Director of Forensics Joe Ganakos and Assistant Coach Christine Courteau. For more information about the Lee College Debate Team, contact Director of Forensics Joe Ganakos at or 281.425.6502.