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Bob Jones Debate Team delivers on point in Decatur

Debate team students from Bob Jones High School earned honors in a novices meet at Decatur Heritage Christian Academy. Scott Seeley is debate team coach. (CONTRIBUTED)
Debate team students from Bob Jones High School earned honors in a novices meet at Decatur Heritage Christian Academy. Scott Seeley is debate team coach. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – The Bob Jones High School Debate Team captured top places at the Decatur Heritage Christian Academy meet.

Coach Scott Seeley said this small meet targeted novice teams, also from Spain Park, Speak First, East Limestone, Grissom and Mars Hill high schools. “Bob Jones was definitely most represented with six public forum teams and three individual event competitors,” he said.

In the individual event for extemporaneous speech, Jordan Cozby ranked in first place, followed by Kayla Buckelew and William Jackson in second and third places, respectively.

Divided between domestic and foreign subjects, extemporaneous topics included the U.S. economy’s future, Affordable Care Act, 2016 presidential elections, Ebola outbreak in Africa and Chinese-U.S. relations.

In the public forum competition, the top six teams were ranked from the 16 teams that entered. Two-person teams advocate or reject a position that a resolution poses. Debate coaches across the nation vote on resolutions.

The Bob Jones team with Kate Newberry and Samuel Christopher earned first place.

In public forum, Sabrina Chen and Devin Norton’s team took third place. “The resolution for this tournament was ‘Resolved: On balance, public subsidies for professional athletic organizations in the United States benefit their local communities,” Seeley said.

Several Bob Jones students placed in the top ten individual speakers for public forum. Nihar Patel earned second place, while Devin Norton and Winston Van were in a tie for third place.

Other place winners in public forum were Emily Campbell, eighth; Kate Newberry, ninth; and Samuel Christopher and Sabrina Chen, tied for tenth.

Seeley summarized the benefits of debate in four areas:

* Social — Debate Club members can compete nationally.

* Academics — Debaters become proficient in researching and logical thinking.

* Personal — Students gain confidence and ‘hold their own’ in discussions.

“Debaters excel in presentations in and out of the classroom, can craft thoughtful and persuasive arguments and provide valued input,” Seeley said.

Bob Jones Debate Team has 44 members. Any interested student can join.

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