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Sosa '22 Qualifies for Tournament of Champions After Participating in Online Speech & Debate Tournaments
Erin Herbert

Cardinal Gibbons sophomore Roberto Sosa has not been sitting home idly after he finishes participating in distance learning. He has already competed in two online Lincoln-Douglas Debate tournaments and was recently notified that he was accepted to compete in the Tournament of Champions, which is considered by many to be the most prestigious debate tournament in the world.

Just getting accepted requires great success at national circuit tournaments such as Yale, Blue Key, Emory, Harvard, etc. Sosa competed at nearly every local, state and national tournament this season, winning the Cypress Tradition as well as the State Championship in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. It was this success that earned him—and the Cardinal Gibbons Speech and Debate team—a bid to compete at the Tournament of Champions.

For over thirty years, the TOC has been hosted by the University of Kentucky. This year, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Tournament of Champions will be fully online. This changes the dynamics of how the competition works as students will be logging in from all around the United States and have to persuade judges remotely. Sosa will be working with two different coaches on how to adapt to this new style of debate.

Other Cardinal Gibbons debaters continuing to hone their skills while at home include juniors Zach Dumas and Alex Dumas. Zach already qualified for NSDA Nationals in Big Questions Debate in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is the oldest and largest debate tournament in the world and this is Zach's first time qualifying. Thus far, the tournament, scheduled for June 14-19, 2020, remains on schedule and in-person. Alex Dumas is working on qualifying to NSDA Nationals in World Schools Debate, but his qualifier tournament was postponed due to COVID-19 precautions.