An online preparation session for the BPCC debate team during the University of Central Arkansas Debate Tournament in March, featuring current members and alumni. Left to Right: Austin Robison, Preston Langley, Dena O’Banion, Alex Gibson, Ryan Straughan, Sydney Green, Jakob Volcheck, and Bob Alexander.

Bossier Parish Community College’s debate team remained at the top of the standings, as the nation’s largest intercollegiate debate organization concluded its national championship tournament on April 11th. The BPCC team earned the season-long community college national championship for the International Public Debate Association.

“This has been an interesting year to say the least,” said Debate Team Coach Bob Alexander. “Last spring, we were driving to the national championship tournament when we got word that the tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19 and had to turn around to come back home. Then after some uncertainty over the summer of 2020 this entire season was moved fully online, which was a new experience for all of us. One benefit of this temporary shift to the online environment was that we were able to have former team members join us from their current homes to teach our current team members the traditions of the BPCC way. Those former students are scattered from Alaska to Florida and it simply would not have been possible to have them all involved in a face-to-face capacity, so we’re thankful to have had them be a part of this unique season.”

En route to the regular season community college national championship, the team earned 60 awards including 8 individual tournament championships. The team was led by Alex Gibson who finished in 2nd place nationally in team debate.

Assistant debate team coach Preston Langley added, “This year’s team had high standards to live up to after last year’s performance and they rose to the challenge. I am extremely proud and I can’t wait to see what next year has in store.”

This marks the fifth national championship for BPCC’s debate team, having won the title in 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019, and 2021. “We are proud to do our part to show the nation the quality of students that choose Bossier Parish Community College,” said Alexander. “I’m honored to have been able to work with this talented and versatile group. We are going to enjoy this one for a couple of weeks, but then it will be time to get back to work toward building another championship squad.”

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