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CCHS sends pack of speech students to state

CCHS sends pack of speech students to state
By James Grob,

Maybe it was the home field advantage that gave them the edge.

The Charles City High School individual speech team will be sending 13 students to Iowa High School Speech Association State competition at Starmont High School on March 14.

Charles City students were entered in 18 events at district competition, which was hosted by the Comets, and a remarkable 16 of those 18 received division I ratings to qualify for state.

“I think what’s really cool is, they knew that we were hosting, and so they knew that they were going to have responsibilities outside of performing,” said CCHS speech coach Brenda Bailey, who said this was the first time in recent memory that Charles City has hosted the district event. “They were all so prepared and ready to go for their performances, so that says a lot about our kids.”

As the hosts of students and teachers from 32 different school districts, the Charles City students found themselves responsible for timing, keeping halls quiet and “helping out wherever they could” between their presentations.

Five Comet competitors competed in two categories, as Lily Woodard made the cut in both Improvisation and Acting, Emily Woodard in Acting and Poetry, Anders Haglund in Solo Musical Theatre and Literary Program, Sincere Collins in both Acting and Literary Program and Rosie Baldus in Improvisation and Acting.

Others competing included Christian Howe in Prose, Eboni Patterson in After Dinner Speaking, Teagan Prigge in Solo Musical Theatre, Cloey Usher in Storytelling, Sydney Otto in After Dinner Speaking, Makenna Jensen in Prose, Sophia Jensen in Prose and Emily Usher in Storytelling.

Of the four districts in Northeast Iowa, Charles City was by far the busiest, with 565 speech performances in the school Saturday — that’s more than 100 more than the next busiest district.

Students will be looking to earn IHSSA All-State honors on March 14 in Starmont. The IHSSA All-State Festival will take place at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls on March 25.

“We’re going to look at comment sheets today and take to heart what the judges said to them, and just try to continue to make those improvements and continue to All-State,” Bailey said.

The Comets sent five teams to state competition in group speech last month, with the Improvisation and Ensemble teams of Emily and Lily Woodard earning All-State honors.

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