Two Kansas City Kansas Community College debaters will be among the top debaters in the country after an invitation to a prestigious tournament in January.
The KCKCC Debate Team of Brian Gonzaba and Matt Casas are one of only 16 teams in the nation to be invited to the Val Browning Round Robin at Weber State University Jan. 25-26. This is the first time KCKCC has been invited to a National Round Robin and is the only community college in the tournament. The Val Browning Round Robin is the oldest Collegiate Debate Round Robin in the Western United States.
“This selection is one of the greatest accomplishments in our history,” said Darren Elliott, KCKCC debate coach. “Being selected also means I am able to judge debates among some of the best teams in the nation. That itself is an honor I look forward to. I also look forward to being guests at Weber State again, who pulled off one of the best NDT hosting jobs ever last year.”
Other schools invited include Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, Gonzaga, Idaho State, Kansas State, Michigan State, Stanford, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of North Texas, University of Wyoming, Wichita State and Weber State.
“This is one of the best things I could ever imagine,” Gonzaba said. “We hope to represent the college well. Horns Up.”
Elliott said this is not only an accomplishment for the squad, but shows that the selection committee recognizes the talent of Gonzaba and Casas, who are both freshman at KCKCC.
“We attended the Weber Invitational earlier in November, and the tournament was fantastic,” he said. “The hospitality was excellent. We look forward to returning to this 16 team tournament where we know the hospitality will be just as amazing.”
Another exciting note is that the Wichita State team are KCKCC alums - Kristyn Russell, of Lansing, Kan., and Ryan McFarland, of Hutchinson Kan. Russell and McFarland were only the second KCKCC team to qualify for the National Debate Tournament when they qualified last March.
“We really look forward to competing in this event,” Casas said. “The people at Weber are amazing and, it’s an honor being selected.”
For more information on the Round Robin and its participants visit www.weberdebate.com/valbrowningcollegerr.htm?no_redirect=true. For more information on the KCKCC Debate program, contact Darren Elliott at 913-288-7295 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.