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ETBU debate team takes second place at tournament

Oct. 3, 2012 at 10 p.m.


The East Texas Baptist University Debate Team took second place at the Henderson State University Caddo Classic Winter Warm Up Tournament Sept. 29-30.

A total of 13 universities from five different states competed at the weekend event. ETBU finished behind only Union University for the team competition and ahead of universities such as LSU-Shreveport, Arkansas Tech University, Sam Houston State University and Middle Tennessee State University.

Seven debaters competed at the tournament and most experienced great success. Senior Heather Matthews Deville of Whitehouse compiled a 5-1 preliminary record and was the second seeded competitor in the Varsity division entering the elimination round. Unfortunately, she lost her first elimination round, bowing out in the round of 16.

Freshman Dakota Hiltzman of Gladewater, in his first ever collegiate debate tournament held a 4-2 preliminary record and advanced through to the quarterfinal round before being eliminated. Hiltzman was also ranked as the second place speaker in the Varsity division of 44 competitors.

Marshall native and ETBU Alum LaDarius Carter dominated in the Professional division going undefeated in preliminaries and advancing to the semifinal round before finally losing. He finished the tournament with a 7-1 record and was the first place speaker in the Professional division.

Dr. Cole Franklin, coach of the ETBU team, finished the tournament with a record of 5-3 and the third place speaker award in the Professional Division. He also advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated from competition.

Other ETBU debaters competing were freshman Crystal Rimes of Marshall, sophomore Chad Smith of Longview, who compiled a 3-3 record in his first debate competition, and John William, another ETBU alum, who finished the competition with a 3-3 record.

"We are very pleased with our results," Franklin said. "We have such a small group compared to much larger universities that were competing and to finish in second place against the level of competition represented says a lot about the talent of this team and their commitment to excellence. We're excited about what the season ahead of us holds."

The ETBU team will next compete at the College of the Mainland Duck Debates Tournament, Oct. 12-13, in Texas City.

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