Who needs practice? Ten CCHS speech events advance to state

By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

Charles City High School speech directors Mike Lembke and Brenda Bailey said they were pleased with the results at the Iowa High School State Speech District individual competition held last Wednesday at Riceville.

They were especially pleased with what their students were able to accomplish with very little practice time, due to several weather cancellations and postponements.

“Some of these kids we only saw once — if that — prior to districts,” Lembke said. “So there’s a lot of natural talent, and a lot of people working on their own, especially in the memorized categories.”

Even the district event was rescheduled due to the weather. District speech was originally set for the Saturday before, but a blizzard forced the date to be pushed back to last Wednesday.

“There was so much interference with the weather, and it wasn’t even the scheduling this time, it was just Mother Nature,” Lembke said.

Weather or not, CCHS sent seven individual speech students to state in 10 different categories. Each of the students received the highest rating, Division I, which means all seven students advance to the state individual speech competition, which will be this Saturday at Waldorf University in Forest City.

“I’m proud of them. A lot of good stuff came through,” Lembke said. “We had a lot of good interest this year, with the individual events. Sometimes, it’s like pulling teeth to get kids to perform solo.”

Three CCHS students advanced to state in two different categories — Lily Woodard earned the top ranking in both Improvisational Acting and Acting, Ruby Peterson received the top ranking in both Musical Theatre and Acting, Mariah McKenzie received the top nod in both Radio News and Improvisational Acting.

Four others receiving highest rating included Ella Rogstad in After Dinner Speaking, Emily Woodard in Poetry, Rosie Baldus in Improvisational Acting and Makenna Jensen in Prose.

“It’s another good growing year. We had a lot of younger people just willing take a chance, and go for it, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Two of the seven headed to state are seniors, three are juniors and two are sophomores.

Earning Division II ratings for Charles City Wednesday were Sincere Collins, Rosie Baldus, Eliza Wolford, Christian Howe and Anastasia Baldus.

Iowa High School State Speech, District Individual Speech Competition At Riceville

Division I ratings — Lily Woodard, Improvisational Acting and Acting; Ella Rogstad, After Dinner speaking; Ruby Peterson, Musical Theatre and Acting; Mariah McKenzie, Radio News and Improvisational Acting; Emily Woodard, Poetry; Rosie Baldus, Improvisational Acting; Makenna Jensen, Prose.

Division II ratings — Sincere Collins, Acting; Rosie Baldus, Storytelling; Eliza Wolford, Lit Program; Christian Howe, Prose; Anastasia Baldus, Prose.

Division III ratings — Anastasia Baldus, Acting.