New Prague HS Speech team wins Missota title

The New Prague High School Speech team won its first Missota Conference championship last week, finishing with 124 points. Northfield (118), Prior Lake (86), Shakopee (80), Holy Angels (68), Red Wing (60) and Hutchinson (4) followed.

Matthew Eldred and Josh Gebhart each won first place in their respective categories of extemporaneous speaking and discussion. This is Eldred’s third consecutive year as conference champion in the category of extemporaneous speaking. Previous New Prague champions include Elizabeth Drommerhausen (informative – 2003), Becky Tupy (great speeches – 2002), Maria Ward (extemporaneous reading – 2000) and Jahan Wilcox (extemporaneous speaking – 2000).

Second place winners this year were Caleb Busacker (humor), Laura Elliott (original oratory), Jake Gysland (discussion), and Emily Walberg (great speeches). Third place medals went to Chantal Liepold (informative), Joelle Merhar (great speeches), Tina Puncochar (extemporaneous speaking), Brandon Reese (creative expression) and Matt Tschimperle (storytelling). Justine Carr (extemporaneous speaking) took home a fourth place ribbon. Carrie Smisek (original oratory) won fifth place in her category. Sixth place ribbons were earned by Julia Girard (humor), Kelsey Lambert (informative), Nick LaMoore (great speeches), Wendy Thoreson (original oratory) and Bennett Wadekamper (discussion).

Other performers were Jess Aldrich, KayCee Bucher, Katherine Claude, Allison Craft, Sandra Dehnbostel, Sarah Donathon, Kyle Dvorak, Vicci Fehling, Neal Gysland, Amy Harvey, Brynia Johnson, Stef Lange, Samantha Lijewski, Meghan Otto, Rachel Pumper, Michelle Sailor, Rachel Sailor and Lauren Shaffer.

Although the middle school and high school teams are practicing and competing separately this year, the coaches opened the competition to middle school students so they could gain experience. Thirteen middle schoolers performed. The middle schoolers will attend four invitationals just for middle school and junior high during the month of March.

Sibley East Invitational

The team traveled to Sibley East High School in Arlington February 26 for a 14-team invitational meet. Eleven individuals earned spots in the final round, based on their scores in preliminary rounds.

The team’s 57 points was just one place from earning a trophy. Belle Plaine took first, with 106 points, followed by St. Peter (90), Le Sueur-Henderson (77) and Loyola (64).

Winning a first place medal in discussion was Josh Gebhart. Senior Matt Tschimperle (storytelling) and junior Matthew Eldred (extemporaneous speaking) each won a second place medal. Third place medals went to junior Caleb Busacker (Humorous) and freshman Emily Walberg (great speeches).

Other ribbon winners were Tina Puncochar, Jake Gysland, Bennett Wadekamper, Joelle Merhar, Julia Girard, Matt Kane, Laura Elliott and Chantal Liepold.

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