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.
I am proud of all of them!