The Lamar State College-Orange Speech and Debate Team competed at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, La., March 2-3. Being the first tournament of the year, LSC-O placed second in Individual Event Sweepstakes and first place in Junior College Overall Sweepstakes.

The team, composed of Nederland residents Jordan Sanderson, Zech Turk, Daniel Sharpless and Rebecca Phillips, are now headed to Rome, Italy over Spring Break, March 9-18. There, they will compete in the prestigious 22nd International Forensics Association Tournament. The tournament plays host to successful collegiate speech and debate programs all across the United States at an international location once a year.

“Last year was the most successful year I have had coaching the Speech and Debate team in the last 15 years,” said Kevin Doss, director of forensics. “The squad earned more than 87 individual event awards and more than five school sweepstakes in the 2010 and 2011 season.”

The LSC-O team was extended an invitation to compete in the tournament in Oct. of last year. Doss says they were honored to receive the invitation and are grateful for the permission granted to the students to attend by the Texas State University System Chancellor.

While in Rome, the students will have the opportunity to participate in intercollegiate competitions of public speaking and oral interpretation. Full-time faculty members Kevin Doss and Bonnie Dorman will be escorting the students on the trip. In addition to the tournament, the LSC-O squad will be visiting many architectural treasures, participating in a private audience with the Pope, and meeting the Italian Ambassador for the United States of America.

“This just confirms that LSCO is producing quality students who are recognized for their talents,” said Doss, “not only throughout the state of Texas and the United States, but now internationally.”