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Speech: Patriots second at Little Falls, fourth at Duluth

Award-winning speech students at the Duluth Denfeld Tournament. Front row, from left: William Moe, Addie Pierson, Allie Miller and Sydney Ellison. Second row: Hannah Allen, Emily Brunkhorst, Elena Grove, Savannah Ellison, Megan Buffington, Riley McCapes and Lili Jorgens. Third row: Cydney Philiposian, Elizabeth Blaeser, Naarah Neumann, Olivia Gerber, Sam Maciej and Zach Bauer. Back row: Allison Francis and Ali Sommerness. Submitted Photo

The Pequot Lakes High School speech team took second place at the Lucky Lindy Speech Tournament in Little Falls on Saturday, Jan. 27. Staples-Motley earned the championship and Melrose was third.

Event champions for Pequot Lakes were Savannah Ellison in Discussion, Sydney Ellison in Great Speeches and Addie Pierson in Informative.

Other Patriots placing were: Drama - Zach Bauer, fifth; Duo - Gabe Maske and Tyler Flowers, second, Elena Grove and Emily Brunkhorst, sixth; Extemporaneous Reading - Courtney Rock, third; Great Speeches - Lilli Jorgens, fifth; Oratory - William Moe, second, Naarah Neumann, sixth; Prose - Courtney Rock, second, Elizabeth Blaeser, third; Poetry - Cydney Philiposian, sixth.

Riley McCapes, Jorgens and Philiposian won novice awards.

On Saturday, Feb. 3, the team traveled to Duluth to compete in the 57th annual Duluth-Denfeld Rotary Tournament. The tournament saw 22 schools and more than 500 speakers participate. The Patriots placed fourth behind tournament champion Chaska, followed by Forest Lake and Centennial. St. Michael-Albertville and Walker rounded out the top six teams.

Sydney Ellison captured the only individual championship for the Patriots in Great Speeches - her second championship in two weeks.

Others placing for Pequot Lakes were: Creative Expression - Megan Buffington, seventh; Discussion - Savannah Ellison, fourth, Neumann, fourth Honor Final; Drama - Ali Sommerness, fourth Honor Final, Bauer and McCapes, Ribbons of Excellence; Duo - Allie Miller and Moe, fifth, Grove and Brunkhorst, sixth Honor Final; Extemporaneous Reading - Alison Francis, fourth Honor Final; Extemporaneous Speaking - Buffington, first Honor Final; Great Speeches - Jorgens, fifth; Humor - Miller, second Honor Final; Informative - Pierson, second, Sam Maciej, seventh; Oratory - Moe, seventh, Neumann, fifth Honor Final; Poetry - Grove, fourth Honor Final, Hannah Allen, seventh Honor Final, Philiposian, Ribbon of Excellence; Prose - Olivia Gerber, seventh Honor Final, Blaeser, Ribbon of Excellence.

The speech team currently has 43 students in grades 9-12 competing in 48 events with an additional 20 students in grades 6-8 competing at the middle level.

"The program has really taken off," team coach Angie Klein said. "As a coaching staff we understand students are busy and they have choices; we make speech a positive experience for everyone. Public speaking is a necessary life skill required for success. I am extremely grateful for the support of the Pequot Lakes administration, teachers, speech parents and community."

Megan Tank is the team's assistant coach and Elizabeth Rock is the middle level coach. Volunteer coaches are Sheridan Wilson and Maddy Klein.

The team will compete in Underwood on Saturday, Feb. 10.