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No. 1 ranked City College debate ‘Dream Team’ to national finals

By Otto Pippenger

the Guardsman


Six students from City College have put us at the top of our region’s debate team circuit, ahead of all four and two year schools in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Now they’re headed to the National Speech and Debate Association National Forensic League’s National Speech and Debate Tournament, the oldest, largest, and arguably most prestigious scholastic debate event in the U.S.

Faculty Coaches Nathan Steele and Robert Hawkin’s team of six San Francisco locals, Myla Calilong, Diana Norton, Diego Perez, Jeffrey Antonio, Zachery Herrera and Kameron Burroughs. They will be bringing their distinct permutation of interpretive debate which mixes literature, poetry, and original oratory against teams from schools like Harvard and UC Berkeley at Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon on April 3-6.

Five of the six debaters came from South San Francisco High School. Some are the first in their families to attend college.

The City College “Dream Team” has achieved a sustained success in the last two years, almost unheard of for a community college, edging out powerhouses like UC Berkeley and the University of Southern California.

With national visibility and scholarships a possibility for winners, the team is treating the tournament “like we have nothing to lose” as team member Myla Calilong put it, “I just want to move someone.”

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