MARSHALL, Texas (2/24/14) – The East Texas Baptist University debate team traveled to Arkadelphia, Ark. February 21-23 to compete in back-to-back debate tournaments sponsored by Lee College and Henderson State University. The team won third place overall at the Lee College tournament and third place overall after combining points from both tournaments. The team finished ahead of a number of much larger universities including Arkansas Tech University, the University of Central Arkansas and Oral Roberts University.
The team had a large number of individual successes as well. In the Lee College sponsored portion of the event, six of nine ETBU debaters advanced beyond the preliminary rounds of competition to the elimination bracket. No other university had as many competitors advance as did ETBU. In the end, freshman Katelynn Burns of Pittsburg, sophomore Madysen Neathery of Wake Village, and freshman Charles Quigley of Houston finished as novice division octofinalists.
Sophomore Shayne Davis of Marshall and junior Brandon Henry of Prosper were both novice quarterfinalists and Dr. Cole Franklin, professor and coach of the ETBU squad, as a professional division semifinalist. Additionally, senior Ryan Stokes of Nacogdoches, making his debut in the professional division of debate, was ranked as the fifth place speaker in the division.
Following the first tournament, the ETBU team immediately began the preliminary rounds of competition in the Henderson State University sponsored event. In the end, Franklin and sophomore Dakota Hiltzman of Gladewater finished as professional division quarterfinalists and sophomore Joe Meadows of Mountain Home, Ark., in his first ever debate competition, compiled a 4-2 preliminary record and marched through the competition in the octofinal, quarterfinal, and semifinal rounds before finally losing on a 2-1 judges’ decision against Zach Martin of Lee College.
Other debaters competing for ETBU during the weekend included sophomore Amanda Gill of Austin and junior Kenny Adcock of Joshua. Gill competed in the novice division and posted a 4-2 preliminary record in the Henderson State tournament, but missed advancing by a total of 5 speaker points over the six rounds. Adcock, also competing in the professional division for the first time, finished with a 3-3 preliminary record.
“I am extremely proud of this team,” Franklin said. This was a long and hard weekend. The squad competed in a minimum of 12 rounds of debate over a three-day period. Those advancing beyond the preliminary rounds, debated even more. To finish with as much success in such a grueling event speaks to the commitment and strength of this team. We are very proud of a third place finish in the combined tournaments.”
The team will have a few weeks to rest before competing in another swing tournament setting at College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas. Lee College and College of the Mainland will sponsor back-to back tournaments March 21-23. Following this, the team will travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to compete in the IPDA National Championship tournament April 11-13.