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February 16th, 2012
San Marcos High debate team sweeps tournament

Top row, left to right: Charlie Jalufka (grad 9), Gino Occhialini (10), Jonathan Flores (12), Michael McLerran (9), Dino Occhialini (10), and Cameron Herber (12). Bottom row, left to right: Frankie Torres (11), William Mayhew (9), Johnathan Jaster (12), Samantha Govea (10), Carly Villarreal (11), Matthew Roark (9), James Dix (11), and Michael Hoover (12). PHOTO via SAN MACOS CISD


The San Marcos High School Speech and Debate Team defeated 21 other area schools, including four district opponents, in dominating fashion this past weekend at the La Vernia High School Invitational Tournament.

In Persuasive Extemporaneous Speaking, the team took first through sixth place in the event. First place went to senior Michael Hoover, with second place going to junior James Dix, and third place to senior Johnathan Jaster.

Sophomores Dino and Gino Occhialini took fourth and fifth place, respectively, while freshman Matthew Roark took sixth place. Junior Frankie Torres was took first place in Informative Extemporaneous Speaking.

In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, the team once again swept all the top honors, capturing the first through third place trophies. Torres took his second Championship of the tournament with a first place win, followed by Hoover in second. Gino Occhialini took third overall, with Dino Occhialini, and freshman Charlie Jalufka reaching the quarter final round in the event.

The team also saw success in the interpretation events at this tournament. Junior Carly Villarreal took home the top prize with a first place finish in Prose, while senior Jonathan Flores won second in Poetry.

The team has one more open tournament (Feb. 25 at Westwood High School) left in the season before moving into their championship season with their eyes on a third UIL State Championship. The team is coached by C.J. Odam.

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15 thoughts on “San Marcos High debate team sweeps tournament

  1. Because they have never gotten jack in the way of funding, and kick tail for decades. I know of at least 3 state championships from that program. Seen any state football trophies at SMHS?

  2. We need more funding for the football teams. Who cares for Speech and debates?
    There is not such things as Super-speech as we have super bowl which moves millions of dollars.
    Let spend money the right places. Speech debate is not one of those places.

  3. Tell you what D, let’s compare the lifetime salaries of 1,000 high school debate champs against the salaries of 1,000 high school football superstars and see which one you’d rather have.

    Really and truly though, so often these programs work because of a committed person or department. Or the school makes it a priority. To just immediately assume money would get us closer to where we’d like to be seems to be a bit of a leap. Not saying it wouldn’t…

  4. I see there was no mention of the coach in the article. It would be nice to give that person or team some recognition.

  5. Unfortunately, that is not only the money involve, but also the health issue. I support investment in sport instead of speech. Other than that,what’s benefits the speech thing brings or teaches other than frivolous arguments. Just look the political debates to verify how those dedicates to speech have been doing a terrible job.
    For example, pay attention how Ms. Coppoletta communicate. Her lack of clarity and confusing arguments are very obvious and she supposes to teach speech at ACC. That is very scary and wast of money.

  6. I added a reference to the coach.

    Deforth, I get that you don’t like Lisa Marie Copaletta (sp?) by the dozens of comments you have tried to post under a similar name in the last week. I take your point. She’s all over the place. But you’ve managed to become even more obnoxious than she is by doing things like raining on these kids’ parade in the course of taking an anonymous shot at her.

  7. Thanks Brad. I love to read reports of our school’s success. These kids look great and they are making us proud. I hope C.J. Odam sticks around for a while.

  8. by the way, there are A LOT people out there who do not like Lisa. I am not the only one and I do not understand why I am being accused. I’ve expressed my opinion just like everyone else.

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