The Liberty Debate team wasted no time in establishing itself as a contender in the race for the 2009 national rankings championships, claiming first place in the novice and junior varsity divisions of the season-opening Georgia State Debate Tournament.
Intercollegiate debate has three governing organizations: the American Debate Association (ADA), the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) and the National Debate Tournament (NDT). Each of the three organizations award points based on tournament performance that are used to issue mid-season and year-end rankings. Liberty earned more points at the Georgia State tournament than any other school.
The National Resolution, the topic of debate for this season, is:
Resolved: that the United States Federal Government should substantially reduce its agricultural support, at least eliminating nearly all of the domestic subsidies, for biofuels, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, corn, cotton, dairy, fisheries, rice, soybeans, sugar and/or wheat.
At the Georgia State tournament, the novice team of Melanie Darling and Beau Troxclair finished the preliminary debates with a perfect 6-0 record and entered the elimination rounds as the top seed. Among the other 13 teams qualifying for the elimination rounds were the Liberty teams of Maria Eller and Jessica Maddox, Joshua Armstrong and Joseph Autry, and Chelsea Thompson and Tierra Thompson. In the elimination rounds the Liberty novices were dominant, compiling a combined record of 6 wins against 1 loss, with the teams of Darling and Troxclair, Eller and Maddox, and Armstrong and Autry finishing in first, second, and third place, respectively. For the novice debaters, this was more than just their first tournament of the 2008-09 season, it was their first debate tournament ever, a fact that makes Darling and Troxclair’s perfect 10-0 record all the more remarkable.
The team of Austin Woodruff and Lincoln Garrett led the Flames into the junior varsity elimination rounds by finishing the preliminary debates with a perfect record and claiming the top seed. They were joined by the teams of Jackie Poapst and Ryan Bass, and Amanda Atkins and Katie Jordan, who each finished the preliminary rounds with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses. Poapst and Bass won their quarterfinal debate before losing a split decision to Florida State in the semi-final round. Woodruff and Garrett defeated Emory University and Louisiana-Lafayette before defeating the Seminoles in the final round.
On Sept. 25 the Flames travel to Clarion, Pa., to attend the Clarion University Debate Tournament.
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