Debaters Triumph at Golden Eagles Invitational

Four competitors from the JBU Forensics Team earned the crown as co-champions of Parliamentary Debate at the Golden Eagle Invitational held last weekend.

The pairing of Justin Burchfiel and Walker Martin “closed out” the final round of the tournament with their squadmates Michael Burchfiel and Brad Johnson. To net the championship, the JBU pairs defeated teams from Texas Christian University and Kansas Wesleyan University in the semifinal level of competition, said Erick Roebuck, assistant professor of Communication and Director of Forensics.

“I am honored for the opportunity to have represented JBU in collegiate debate this past weekend. I would like to thank professor Roebuck, my teammates, and fellow students for their support during the tournament, since Michael and I would not have been able to compete on such short notice without it,” Johnson said. “While it is wonderful to play a part in bringing another debate victory to JBU, all the glory goes to God alone.”

The tournament included 18 colleges and universities, including Kansas State University, the University of Oklahoma, and others from Missouri, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

In addition to winning the tournament, Johnson was honored as the top overall speaker, Burchfiel received second place honors and Martin took home the third place speaker award.

“Our guys achieved something truly remarkable. Not only were both teams undefeated at the tournament, JBU has not closed out a final debate round since 2008,” Roebuck said.

If a college or university closes out the tournament, then they do not have to debate in the final round, he explained.

“It’s a high honor in the world of Parliamentary Debate to close out with your teammates. Instead of gearing up for the final round, they can relax and wait for the awards ceremony,” Roebuck said.

Parliamentary Debate is a fast-paced competition format where students are presented with a political topic to debate, and then are given 20 minutes to prepare their case for the round.

“The competition was great, and the Texas Wesleyan teams were challenging,” Burchfiel said. “I am impressed at how our teams came together with very little prep to close out finals. We have all actually known each other for a very long time. We were all a part of the same speech and debate club in Texas for all of high school and part of middle school, so it was great to debate with these guys again.”

The JBU Forensics team will compete next at the Green Country Invitational at Tulsa Community College the weekend of Nov. 15-17.