You’ve probably never heard of this YSU powerhouse team winning national awards

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If you don't know who they are -- you should

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Over the weekend, a Youngstown State team took home another trophy from the Ethics Bowl, a national tournament. We wanted to find out more and what we learned is this team’s a powerhouse.

In the past five years, they have also earned two second-place finishes at the Ethics Bowl and have never placed worse than 10th.

The team of Jacob Tomory, Samantha Fritz, Michael Factor, Moataz Abdelrasoul, and Eva Lamberson had to present relevant ethical considerations when crafting a policy for student profiles.

They gave their presentation Sunday in Atlanta, where YSU was one of the favorites in the 36-team tournament, which included Wake Forest, Stanford and Arizona State.

“Three out of five of our team members are seniors and we really — Michael and I — really wanted to win it for them,” Lamberson said.

“We’re known for being a very good team,” said Dr. Alan Tomhave, one of the coaches along with Dr. Mark Vopat. “When we walk into the room, a lot of other schools express a bit of trepidation.”

One of the coaches, Dr. Alan Tomhave, said what separated YSU from the others was the team’s ability to listen and respond. They also start practicing earlier than other teams.

“One of the other comments that we got repeatedly at the competition is that our team is really clean in how it explains things,” Tomhave said.

“We have a very close team,” Fritz said. “We all are friends, we hang out pretty regularly. I mean, the four of us went to the same high school.”

They all competed in speech and debate in high school — but this is not speech and debate.

“Format-wise, it’s completely different, the manner of speaking is completely different and the types of things discussed are not completely different, but very different,” Tomory said.

Factor, a sophomore, said the dedication of the coaches is a big reason the team could very well repeat as champions next year.

“I’ve never encountered anyone in academia or in high school who’s willing to do that for their students. They’re really amazing and they probably won’t tell you that themselves.”

In the championship match, YSU defeated Tufts University of Boston in a unanimous decision from the three judges.

There are no Ethics Bowl scholarships. The students competing on the team do so because they love the challenge and competition.

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