Sophomore Roberto Sosa won the state title in Lincoln-Douglas debate while competing with 570 students from the state of Florida at the Varsity State Tournament at Olympia High School in Orlando on Sunday, March 1.
Not only is Sosa's victory the first Varsity State Tournament win in Cardinal Gibbons Speech and Debate history, but it is also the first time a sophomore from any school has won the State Championship since the Florida Forensic League—the governing body of the Varsity State Tournament—became incorporated by the State of Florida in 2003.
Throughout the competition, Sosa faced teams from Gulf Breeze High School, Christopher Columbus High School, Pembroke Pines Charter, Leon King High School, American Heritage and Lake Highland Prep, and won all 10 rounds of the competition with unanimous decisions from every judge. Sosa secured the state title after a 2-1 decision in the championship round.
Following the championship round, Sosa, who is coached by Amanda Ciocca and Luiz Bravim, said, "I really wasn't expecting this. It's cool. It was a fantastic tournament."
Bravim followed up by adding, "The Lincoln-Douglas squad at Cardinal Gibbons is small, but works extremely well together. Roberto's teammates and coaches helped him prepare for every style of debate in the State Tournament."
In addition to Sosa's individual win, Cardinal Gibbons also won a program award in the small school debate category, tying with North Broward Prep.