The Parkland College debate team has moved on to national competition after recently winning its second state speech tournament title in three years for the two-year college division.
Team members Mohammad Manasra of Champaign and Jason Gordon of Thomasboro (pictured, left) won the final match against Harper College on a 3-0 decision during the 2012 Illinois Intercollegiate Forensic Association State Tournament held at Illinois Central College in East Peoria March 2-3. Debaters Manasara and Nick Laptew also received 5th- and 6th-place speaker awards.
"Someone pinch me! I did not believe Coach seven months ago when he said 'if you want to win state I can get you to that goal; you just have to work,'" Gordon said of the state win. The Parkland College debate team won the state title in 2010.
The Cobra Speech Team concludes its season today at the 30th annual Novice National Individual Events Tournament, hosted at Lafayette College in Easton Pennsylvania March 10-12.
Brian Cafarelli, the team's coach and director of forensics at Parkland, said the team is "peaking at the right time. This is our second win in as many weeks and I would like to make it three weeks in a row. I am very proud of this group because the whole team is working to be better every week."