BPCC Debate Team reaches final four at national championship

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While Houston hosted the NCAA’s “Final Four” over the weekend, just down the road in Baytown, Texas intercollegiate debate’s national champions were also being crowned.

BPCC Debate Team and coaches at the 2016 IPDA National Championship Tournament in Baytown, Texas. From left are Megan Smith, Jakob Volcheck, Jordan Wilson, Zack Witt, Dena O’Banion, Shaletra Thomas, and Bob Alexander. Courtesy Photo
BPCC Debate Team and coaches at the 2016 IPDA National Championship Tournament in Baytown, Texas. From left are Megan Smith, Jakob Volcheck, Jordan Wilson, Zack Witt, Dena O’Banion, Shaletra Thomas, and Bob Alexander. Courtesy Photo

BPCC’s Debate Team finished as the third ranked community college at the 2016 International Public Debate Association National Championship Tournament.

The team was led by sophomore captain Jakob Volcheck, who finished the year as the sixth ranked debater nationally in the Junior Varsity division, and freshman Zack Witt, who advanced to the 9th round of competition before being eliminated in the round of 32.

Also representing BPCC were Jordan Wilson and Shaletra Thomas. Together the team earned 14 wins over the competition en route to earning a third place finish.

During the IPDA’s annual season-long awards presentations on April third, the team was also recognized as the fifth ranked community college for the 2015-2016 regular season. This marks the 8th consecutive year that BPCC has finished in the top 5 nationally amongst community colleges.

In both the season-long awards and at the national championship tournament, rankings are assigned based on the number of victories debaters earn.

“When it comes to the number of students traveled, we’ve simply been outgunned,” BPCC Debate Coach Bob Alexander Said. “At the national championship tournament, the average number of competitors representing the other top three community colleges was nine, BPCC had four; in the season long competition, there was a similar disparity. We continually asked our students to do more, and each of them responded to the challenge.”

“I’m extremely proud of the performance of each of our students,” Alexander said.

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