The Lamar State College-Orange Speech and Debate Team traveled to Rome, Italy over Spring Break to compete in the International Forensic Association Speech and Debate Tournament.

Students Zech Turk, Daniel Sharpless, Jordan Sanderson and Rebecca Phillips, along with director Kevin Doss and chaperone Bonnie Dorman, arrived at the Radison Blue Motel in Rome on March 9. More than 17 colleges from all over the United States competed at the event.

The largest event of the tournament was Prose Interpretation, which had 47 students competing. Both Turk and Phillips made it to the Semi-final round of the Top 12 and then went on to the Top 6 Final round where they competed against four students from George Mason University.

“That was quite an achievement when we learned that George Mason University placed fourth nationally in the American Forensics Association Tournament in 2011,” said Doss. “We were the only two-year college with two competitors in a final round.”

Turk placed fifth in Prose Interpretation and Phillips placed sixth in the same event. Doss says they considered it an honor just to compete at the prestigious tournament, but to have students place was a huge success. “Bonnie (Dorman) was the one who brought me the good news about the final round,” said Doss, “and all I could say was ‘wow!’”

Due to Turk and Phillips placing in the final round of the Prose competition, LSC-O will be invited back to compete at the 2013 IFA Tournament in March 2013. The tournament will take place in Paris, France or Brussels, Belgium. The team will soon be departing Easter evening to compete in the Phi Rho Pi Junior College National Tournament in Chicago, Ill., March 8-15.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how our students performed and represented LSCO,” said Doss. “We also want to thank everyone for their support and words of encouragement and prayers as we traveled.”