Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 5, 2009) - The John Brown University speech and debate team took 2nd place in debate and 4th place overall combined at the Tri-State Championship Speech and Debate tournament, held on the campus of Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, La Jan. 30-Feb. 1. The tournament included 19 schools from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. The JBU team also secured a 2nd place ranking for all Arkansas schools. Leading the way for the team was freshman Brandon Knight. Out of 48 competitors from other schools, Knight secured 1st place overall in the Novice Public Debate category. Also scoring points in the Novice category was teammate Chad Neal. Neal was an octa-finalist and also received an award for 5th place speaker. Also scoring points for the team in this category were freshmen Chelsey Knight, Mikey Kerby, and Jeff Trott. In Varsity Public Debate, senior Matt Mellema was a quarter-finalist and sophomore Daniel Fischer was an octa-finalist. Senior Rissa Murphy also scored points for the team by receiving an award for 5th place speaker. Additional points were also earned by sophomore Amber Wilson. Teammates and seniors Mellema and Josh Sooter took 2nd place overall in the Team Public Debate category. Coach Jason Hough and Fischer were semi-finalists in the same category. Hough scored points for the team by receiving a 1st place speaker award with Mellema receiving 5th place speaker. In individual speaking events, Wilson placed 3rd in Communication Analysis. Murphy placed 6th in Communication analysis, and Chelsey Knight placed 6th in Poetry Interpretation. The team’s final competition of the year will be the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament, which will be held on the campus of Louisiana State University, Shreveport March 19-21.