College of the Mainland student Drager Landry presents his case during the COM annual Duck DebatesAlaina Spiers, right, won the novice division of the COM Duck Debates during a two-day tournament with nine schools.

Nine colleges from Louisiana to Washington traveled to College of the Mainland for the third annual Duck Debates Tournament March 6-7. The two-day tournament allowed over 70 competitors to sharpen skills in argument, speaking and logic.

The debate followed International Public Debate Association procedures as students tackled topics from hip-hop to the civil rights movement. Students participated from Louisiana College, Lee College, Texas A&M – Galveston, Prairieview A&M University, East Texas Baptist University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas State University and Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington.

COM student Alaina Spiers won the novice division. Connor Throckmorton, a student from Stephen F. Austin University coached by Kimberly Squyres Wagner, won the professional division. Sam Director, a student from Whitworth University coached by Dr. Mike Ingram, won the varsity division.

“My team had a wonderful experience debating Texas schools whom we do not normally get to see,” said Ingram. “It was a lovely weekend to exchange ideas and see different styles of debating.”

Pairs of debating students selected their topic from five options and then had 30 minutes to prepare an argument. A total of 14 current COM students and one COM alumnus participated.
“Students learn study skills and note taking,” said Dr. Nakia Welch, speech professor and Debate Team coach. “Debate helps students not only in the classroom but in life with confidence.”
The COM Debate Team will travel Conway, Arkansas, next week to debate at the University of Central Arkansas.
For more information, contact Welch at 409-933-8210 or