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Students place in state forensics tournament



CFISD students and teachers proudly display their trophies and plaques won at last weekend’s Texas Forensic Association State Speech and Debate Tournament. Pictured, from left to right, are Debbie Waddell, Cypress Falls coach; Lina Meghji, Cypress Falls sophomore; Brett Gray, Cypress Ridge senior; Nick Cugini, Cypress Ridge senior; Scott Baker, Cypress Ridge coach; Lario Albarran, Cypress Ridge sophomore; Peter Paul Wong, Jersey Village sophomore; Leslie Wendt, Jersey Village coach; and Joe Flores, Jersey Village senior.



CFISD Debate coordinator Patti Domingue accepts a plaque from the TFA Executive Committee on behalf of the district hosting the state competition.

March 11, 2009 —All 10 CFISD high school speech and debate teams hosted the 36th Annual Texas Forensic Association (TFA) State Speech and Debate Tournament at Cypress Ranch High School and the Berry Center last weekend. The competition drew 172 high school programs featuring the best speakers, debaters and actors from across the state.

In addition to serving as host, CFISD showcased its own talented students in the competition.

From Jersey Village High School, senior Joe Flores received a scholarship from TFA for his continued success over his four-year forensic career, while sophomore Peter Paul Wong advanced to the state Congress Senate finals at the Berry Center on Saturday.

From Cypress Falls High School, senior Saif Kazim advanced to the double octo-finals round of Lincoln-Douglas Debate and sophomore Lina Meghji won second place in finals of Impromptu Speaking.

“It was the experience of a lifetime. There are a lot of quality competitors in Houston and around the state,” Kazim said.”

Added Meghji, “The level of competition pushed me to do my best. It was awesome having the ‘home-field’ advantage.”

From Cypress Woods High School, senior Austin Baker advanced to the octo-finals round of Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

“I’m proud that Cy Woods was represented at the state level for three striaght years,” said Cypress Woods coach Ashley Adkins. We are in a competitive area, and it takes a lot of dedication and commitment not only to qualify for state but to advance on to out-rounds.”

Cypress Ridge High School won sixth place in Overall Sweepstakes with two state championship titles: senior Nick Cugini in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking and senior Brett Gray in Humorous Interpretation. Cugini, who won the state title for the second consecutive year, was also the third place Student Congress speaker and a quarterfinalist in Original Oratory. Sophomore Lario Albarran won third place in Poetry Interpretation.

“(Debate has) left a lasting impression on the rest of my life,” said Gray, who was also a state semifinalist in Dramatic Interpretation. “State champion is a title that I proudly accept in honor of those who have helped me see my dream come true.”


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