Speech team shines at district contest
To say New Hampton had a good day at Saturday’s district individual speech contest is, well, an understatement.
Fifteen of New Hampton’s 22 entries earned Division I ratings at the contest hosted by Riceville and earned trips to the March 10 state contest at Starmont High School.
“I was absolutely overjoyed with the way the kids performed,” New Hampton coach Jason Speltz said. “The time they put into this, the effort they gave me … it just blew me out of the water. It says something about these kids that they’re willing to get up in front of people in the first place and then to knock it out of the park, I couldn’t be happier.”
Those earning Division I ratings included Elliott Throndson, Savannah Anderson, Grace Denner, Sydney Lau, Will Throndson, Hannah Schwickerath, Faith Erdman, Isabel Pool, Quenten Putney, Celena Quirk, Jeffrey Reicks and Cody Deere. Will Thorndson, Putney and Erdman received I ratings in two different categories.
And while making the state contest was the goal, Speltz emphasized that there’s still work to be done.
“They have to keep improving for state,” he said. “The bottom line is if you stay the same at state, you’re really going backwards.”
So Speltz and his speech team aren’t taking too many days off before the state contest.
“I’m a nice guy,” he said with a laugh, “so we’re not going to practice on Friday but I’m bringing them in on Saturday. Seriously, what you want to do now is take the judge’s feedback from districts and incorporate that into the state piece. But these kids work extremely hard.”
And they work well together.
Speltz said one of the keys to the success of New Hampton’s program is that it’s not just the coach giving feedback; instead, it’s the entire team.
For more of this article, see Friday's Tribune.