National Champions

Forget about the BCS Bowls, the NCAA tournament, and the tortured definitions of “student athlete.”  To me, I am proudest of these national champions:  Patrick Henry College students J. C. Cartee and Andrew Ferguson who won the national undergraduate moot court championship!

Moot court involves students pretending to argue a case before an appellate court (one of which would be the Supreme Court).  They prepare briefs, make their argument before a judge against an opposing side, and respond to questions from the judge (who sometimes is an appellate or even Supreme Court judge).  It’s an intense exercise in research, analysis, writing, speaking, and thinking on your feet.

The little college where I teach literature and supervise the academic and student life programs has had a team win the national championship for four years in a row!  And six in the last eight!

Not only did J. C. and Andrew, both former students of mine, excel, but so did the other Patrick Henry College teams who ran the gauntlet of regional tournaments to make it to nationals.  Here are some details:

Matched against the 80 top teams in the country, PHC’s moot court program has, for the fourth consecutive year, won the ACMA National Championship at Chapman University Law School in Orange County. Competing against the likes of Duke, the University of Virginia, the Air Force Academy, Holy Cross, Wheaton College, Baylor University and the University of Texas, among many others, the College’s duo of J.C. Cartee and Andrew Ferguson won five rounds in a single day to defeat, by a 2-to-1 margin, a team from the College of New Jersey for the first-place trophy.

With six championships in the past eight years, PHC remains the only ACMA moot court participant to have won more than one title. . . .

Having qualified the maximum number of eight teams for nationals, PHC advanced seven teams to the round of 32 octofinals, six teams to the Sweet 16, four teams to the “Elite Eight” round, and three to the Final Four. In addition to Cartee and Ferguson’s first-place trophy, two PHC teams tied for third place: Micah Walters and Kayla Griesemer and Logan Spena and Samuel Johnson. Ardee Coolidge and Josh Chamberlain, made it to the Elite Eight, and PHC duos Blake Meadows and Bridget Degnan and Ben Williamson and James Compton advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. . . .

Not unexpectedly, the College also filled the upper tier of the tournament’s Top Orator rankings, earning second through seventh Top Speaker Awards, which included, respectively, (2nd) freshman Ben Williamson, (3rd) sophomore Blake Meadows, (4th) freshman James Compton, (5th) freshman Samuel Johnson, (6th) senior Nicole Frazer and (7th) senior Logan Spena. Junior James Nelson came in 11th. In the Brief Writing Competition, PHC teams of Kyle Niewoehner/Nicole Frazer and Samuel Johnson/ Kira Clark won third and fourth places, respectively. The team of Mackenzi Siebert and Tait Deems placed fourth in the Top Respondent Brief Competition.

via Patrick Henry College.

I am proud of all of them!

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Rose

    Congratulations, Patrick Henry College.
    Surely the school’s namesake would take special pride in winning debates.

  • Rose

    Congratulations, Patrick Henry College.
    Surely the school’s namesake would take special pride in winning debates.

  • Booklover

    Congrats

  • Booklover

    Congrats

  • Joe

    well done

  • Joe

    well done

  • helen

    Congratulations, Patrick Henry!

    Where do your students usually go to law school?

  • helen

    Congratulations, Patrick Henry!

    Where do your students usually go to law school?

  • Pete

    Wow!

  • Pete

    Wow!

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Is Moot Court like that Denzel Washington movie where a small black college upsets an Ivy League school in a debate?

    Regardless, congratulations to Patrick Henry College moot court students!

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Is Moot Court like that Denzel Washington movie where a small black college upsets an Ivy League school in a debate?

    Regardless, congratulations to Patrick Henry College moot court students!

  • Kirk

    Expel the team that didn’t break into the octofinals. They have brought great dishonor upon their families.

  • Kirk

    Expel the team that didn’t break into the octofinals. They have brought great dishonor upon their families.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Dr. Veith,

    please publish a list of all current and former champions with their current addresses and phone numbers. That way if I ever need a lawyer, I will know where to start.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Dr. Veith,

    please publish a list of all current and former champions with their current addresses and phone numbers. That way if I ever need a lawyer, I will know where to start.

    Thanks.

  • Cincinnatus

    Congrats to those two.

    Speaking as a PHC alumnus, however, I never really understood the purpose of moot court. It seems to encourage a kind of thinking that, well, isn’t really thinking.

  • Cincinnatus

    Congrats to those two.

    Speaking as a PHC alumnus, however, I never really understood the purpose of moot court. It seems to encourage a kind of thinking that, well, isn’t really thinking.

  • Mole

    Spectacular! Shows what’s possible with great teachers and motivated students. Inspiring, even for old retirees (such as I) who aspire to be life-long learners. Congrats.

  • Mole

    Spectacular! Shows what’s possible with great teachers and motivated students. Inspiring, even for old retirees (such as I) who aspire to be life-long learners. Congrats.

  • DonS

    Congratulations to Messrs. Cartee and Ferguson, the other winners on their fine team, their outstanding coaches, and to PHC! This little school is one of the reasons why I have a great deal of hope for the future of America!

  • DonS

    Congratulations to Messrs. Cartee and Ferguson, the other winners on their fine team, their outstanding coaches, and to PHC! This little school is one of the reasons why I have a great deal of hope for the future of America!

  • WebMonk

    Cinn – I suspect that Newt kicked ass in moot court debates. They certainly require legal reasoning and research, but there’s also a lot of specialized rhetorical technique involved in them.

    I remember when the college first opened up, there was some discussion of the merits of moot court debating. I think it’s quite worthwhile, but it’s not just like making a court case either.

  • WebMonk

    Cinn – I suspect that Newt kicked ass in moot court debates. They certainly require legal reasoning and research, but there’s also a lot of specialized rhetorical technique involved in them.

    I remember when the college first opened up, there was some discussion of the merits of moot court debating. I think it’s quite worthwhile, but it’s not just like making a court case either.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Helen, in answer to your question, our students who want to go to law school–a big percentage of them–are getting into high caliber law schools, including Harvard, Columbia, Yale.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Helen, in answer to your question, our students who want to go to law school–a big percentage of them–are getting into high caliber law schools, including Harvard, Columbia, Yale.


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