Cedarville University’s debate team of John Cooper and Mark Miller recently competed in and won a regional debate tournament at Wheaton College, Illinois, where they defeated teams from Purdue, Northern Illinois and Notre Dame. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University
by Public Relations Office—Cedarville, Ohio
March 16, 2009
Cedarville, Ohio—On Feb. 13 and 14, the Cedarville University debate program took six teams to compete in a two-day tournament at Wheaton College in Illinois. They competed against 34 other teams representing nine schools, including Purdue, Northern Illinois and Notre Dame.
Cedarville finished first place in the overall sweepstakes category and won the final debate round when the team of Mark Miller and John Cooper defeated a team from Loyola University.
In the top speaker category, Miller won second place, Cooper took fifth and Leanna Baumer came in ninth. Cedarville teams also won considerable awards, with Baumer and Stephanie Devine named quarter finalists along with Jordan Wood and Courtney Edmonds.
“To win our first tournament of the semester at both the squad and individual level was incredibly meaningful for me and the team,” says Cooper. “The entire team has shown resiliency in competition. This tournament gives us excellent momentum going into our national tournament season in March.”
Miller feels much the same way. “For me,” he says, “this win represents a lot of hard work and dedication from the entire team. What we've done so far would not be possible without much effort and sacrifice.”
What’s remarkable is CU’s debate team accomplished all this without a coach. Matthew Moore, assistant professor of communication arts, stepped in as debate team manager this year, but the students have primarily carried themselves. In regard to Miller and Cooper’s win, Moore said, “I respect Mark and John not only as debaters but also as individuals who are spiritually focused and great team players.” He goes on to say, “They want to win, but they don’t sacrifice graciousness to do so.”