Wadena-Deer Creek and Verndale high school speech team sends four to section tournament
The schools will send four competitors to the Section 8A speech tournament on Saturday, April 15, in Perham.
MENAHGA – The Wadena-Deer Creek/Verndale speech team will send four competitors to the Section 8A speech tournament on Saturday, April 15, in Perham, led by two second-place performances and one fifth-place performance at the meet.
Coach Renae Roth said WDC/Verndale sent seven competitors to the Subsection 31A tournament held April 1 at Menahga High School, and she is pleased that more than half of them will be moving on to the regional tournament.
“The whole team wasn't able to participate but we had seven kids compete, and they did wonderfully,” coach Roth said.
Moving onto the regional tournament will be Wadena-Deer Creek sophomore Ally Morthberg who placed second place in the Humor Category; WDC sophomores Noelle Spicer and Chloe Leeseberg who placed second in Dramatic Duo; and Verndale High junior Calvin Brooks who placed fifth in the Humor Category.
Morthberg is the team captain and a returning speech competitor; Spicer, Leeseberg and Brooks are all first-time speech participants.
“We are such a new team, and to have four kids out of the seven who were able to come (to the subsection tournament) pass through to sections is just amazing,” Roth said. “Those who didn't quite make it through learned a lot and are already excited to pick out their pieces for next year.”
Coach Roth added that the team might have had one more section participant but for a decision by judges.
Alex (Crystal) Poppe, a junior who is the team’s Verndale captain, actually tied for sixth place in the Creative Category, and the decision as to who advanced came down to a judges' pick. “Unfortunately it wasn't Alex,” Roth said about the first-year speech competitor.
Also attending the subsection tournament were Verndale junior Mia Shaw, a first-year competitor in the Discussion Category, who fell one spot short of qualifying for sections; and Verndale seventh grader Milauna Mensinger, another first-year competitor, who was .05 points away from making it through to sections in the Humor Category. “You can't get much closer than that!” Roth said.