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Triumphant LSUS Debate Wins Eight Louisiana State Championships in One Weekend

February 03, 2021

Shreveport, LA-LSU Shreveport's Debate Team is continuing its noteworthy streak of victories after its most recent competition, the Southern Forensics Championship. The Pilots won eight Louisiana State Championships against twenty-nine collegiate programs representing nine states. The late January contest was hosted virtually by the University of Central Arkansas.

The team's winnings included top individual state prizes in the overall debate sweepstakes and in the overall Louisiana Tournament Championship. These triumphs were in addition to a second-place team victory in the overall debate and tournament championship.

In the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) portions of the competition, the team went home successful in both individual and team categories. Team IPDA freshman partners Jewel Thomas and Mathew Coleman finished the tournament as quarter finalists. Coleman was also the fourth-place speaker in the team division. In the novice division, freshman Mallory Taylor was as an octofinalist, and in the junior varsity division, David Issacs was a quarterfinalist.

Varsity Debater Ethan Arbuckle continued his impressive run this season by advancing to his fourth-consecutive finals round. Arbuckle aced the tournament with several individual awards and state championships including: Louisiana State Individual Overall Champion, Louisiana State Champion in Extemporaneous Speaking, Louisiana State Champion in Varsity Debate Speaking, Varsity Louisiana Debate Champion, and the tournament's overall first place winner in the varsity division. Arbuckle and his Team IPDA partner Dominick Mercer also advanced to finals in the team portion and placed second. Arbuckle and Mercer additionally won the title of Team IPDA Louisiana State Champions.

In the professional division, Graduate Assistant Leia Smith won the Louisiana State Championship for Speaking with a near-perfect score throughout the tournament. Only missing perfection by one point, Smith finished the tournament as a quarterfinalist in the debate portion. MLA student Tommy James ended the tournament as a semi-finalist.

LSUS Debate will compete next at the Bossier Parish Community College Eddie Shell Invitational on February 19-21, 2021. For more information on LSUS Debate, please contact AJ Edwards at 318-751-8350 or

Founded in 1967, Louisiana State University Shreveport offers a wide array of nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a doctoral degree. The university's mission is to educate a diverse population of graduate and undergraduate students; engage in regional and global thought leadership through community collaboration and service; and innovate to enhance the application of knowledge and intellectual discovery through faculty and student research and creative endeavors.

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