From East Texas Baptist University
Mike Midkiff, Director of Public Relations
MARSHALL, – The East Texas Baptist University debate team competed in the International Public Debate Association National Championship Tournament April 1-3 at Lee College in Baytown, Texas. Over 215 competitors from 32 universities from across the country competed in the three-day event.
Four ETBU debaters advanced to the elimination rounds of competition.
Sophomore Telema Blackman of Alexandria, La., and sophomore Harleigh Parrish of Huntington each advanced to the round of 16 in the Novice Division. Parrish posted a 6-2 preliminary record and won her first elimination round but lost in the round of 16 to finish the tournament with a final record of 7-3. Blackman earned a 5-3 preliminary record and won her debate in the round of 32 before losing in the round of 16. She finished the tournament with a 6-4 final record.
In the Professional Division, ETBU alumnae Heather DeVille, posted a 6-2 preliminary record and won in her octo-final round, but lost in quarterfinals. She finished with a 7-3 record in the competition.
Dr. Cole Franklin, ETBU debate team coach, also competing in the Professional Division, earned a 5-3 preliminary record, advanced through the round of 16, but lost in quarterfinals, finishing with a 6-4 overall record. Dr. Franklin was also recognized as the 9th place Professional Division speaker at the tournament.
The ETBU team also received numerous awards and recognitions at the tournament as season-long rankings were announced. As a team, ETBU finished the season ranked fourth in the Professional Division and fourth in the Novice Division. After combining all points for the entire season, ETBU finished the season as the sixth-place debate squad in the nation.
“Over 130 universities competed in the IPDA circuit this year” said Dr. Franklin. “We are one of the very smallest universities competing in IPDA. To finish the season ranked sixth in the country is quite an accomplishment. We are very happy with our results.”
Individual season results were also announced at the competition.
Blackman finished the 2015-2016 year as the second-place novice debater in the country out of 493 individuals that competed in the division this season. She also was the 7th place novice speaker in the country based on her season-long speaking results.
“Telema’s success this year is absolutely astounding,” Dr. Franklin said. “Almost 500 individuals competed in this division from coast-to-coast this season and Telema finished the season in second place. Her performance this year has been incredible.”
Almost equally as impressive, Parrish completes the season as the 19th-place novice competitor in the country. She was also the 10th place novice speaker in the country.
“We were the fourth-place novice squad nationally this year,” Dr. Franklin continued. “Harleigh and Telema were a big part of that success, but we had a number of other novice competitors that earned points throughout the season that contributed to the success.”
Junior Shayne Davis of Marshall finished the season as the 26th place Junior Varsity debater out of the 249 Junior Varsity competitors in the country.
Sophomore Charles Quigley of Houston finished the year as the 69th place Varsity debater in the nation out of the 367 Varsity competitors.
Dr. Franklin finished the season ranked sixth nationally in the IPDA Professional Division this season. He was also the fifth-place professional speaker in the nation.
“Each of these competitors ended the season ranked in the elite level of IPDA debaters in their division” Dr. Franklin said. “When you consider the fact that over 1,000 people competed in this debate format over the past year, ETBU certainly ranks as one of the top programs in the nation. We are very proud of these outstanding students.”
The ETBU debate team has been competing in the IPDA debate organization since 2007. Membership on the team is open to any ETBU student, faculty, or staff member. No experience is necessary. The 2016-2017 season will begin in September, 2016. For more information on the ETBU debate team, please contact Dr. Cole Franklin at 903-923-2288 or email email@example.com.