Nine Gehlen groups advance to state large group speech

Wednesday, January 25, 2023
(Photo Contributed) Gehlen Catholic High School students taking part in the District Large Group are, front row, from left, Sami Zubrod, McKenna Langel, Grace Kellen, Zoe Vacura, Paisley Tesch, Elizabeth Hitchler and Desirae Dreckman. Second row, Autumn Heitritter, Ellen Hunt, Josie Scheitler, Aspen Mosher, Addie Logan, Grace Czyz and Izabella Tomlinson. Third row, Kaylee Linden, Addison Arens, Cadence Goebel, Leah Langel, Ellie Arens, Aurora Goebel and Jack Kessenich. Back row, Brandon Gengler, Nolan Nilles, Riley Kroll, Will Harpenau, Braden Bollin, Kyron Zhang, Evan Steeg, Jack Roberts and Alexander Munoz.

LE MARS — Gehlen Catholic High School had 11 groups compete at the Iowa High School Speech Association district contest Saturday, Jan. 21.

The district contest was held at Northwestern College in Orange City.

At the end of the day’s competition, nine of the school’s 11 groups earned a “I” rating and will be moving on the State Large Group competition on Saturday, Feb. 4, at Le Mars Community High School, according to Laurie Kellen, assistant speech coach.

“We have been practicing since late October, and like everyone else in the area, the weather has been tough on our practice schedule this year. The students have been flexible and we have worked together to be creative to find alternative times to practice around their many other commitments,” Kellen said.

Head coach Mark Morehead said, “This has been a great group of kids to work with, it is rewarding to see them grow and do things that are outside of their usual comfort zone.  This year we had more kids than ever surprise themselves with what they can do on the stage. Being well spoken is a skill that will serve these students throughout their lives.”

Varsity groups earning a “I” rating are:

Musical Theatre - “Rent” — Aspen Mosher, Kaylee Linden, Cadence Goebel and Josie Scheitler.

Improv — S Gang — Evan Steeg, Riley Kroll and Will Harpenau.

Improv — Z Gang — Kyron Zhang, Braden Bollin and Nolan Nilles.

Ensemble Acting — “Parting Wishes” — McKenna Langel, Ellen Hunt, Kaylee Linden and Zoe Vacura.

Choral Reading — “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” — Braden Bollin, Aurora Goebel, Cadence Goebel, Leah Langel, Addison Arens, Ellen Hunt and Josie Scheitler.

Ensemble Acting — “Just Like Old Times” — Ellie Arens, Aurora Goebel, Desirae Dreckman, Autumn Heitritter, Paisley Tesch and Sami Zubrod.

Readers Theater — “Here Be Dragons” — Brandon Gengler, Kyron Zhang, Will Harpenau, Evan Steeg, Nolan Nilles, Jack Kessenich, Ellie Arens, Autumn Heitritter, Zoe Vacura, Aspen Mosher and McKenna Langel.

Ensemble Acting — “Speak Now” — Brandon Gengler and Addison Arens.

Freshmen group earring a “I” rating:

Readers Theater — The Mysterious Case” — Jack Roberts, Alexander Munoz, Grace Kellen, Grace Czyz, Elizabeth Hitchler, Addie Logan and Izabella Tomlinson.

Groups receiving a “II” rating were:

Varsity — Improv K Gang — Jack Kessenich and Sami Zubrod.

Freshmen — Improv J’s Gang — Jack Roberts, Alexander Munoz and Izabella Tomlinson.

“Each of our 30 team members is moving on to state competition in at least one of their groups,” Morehead said. “We are excited to continue to work with the kids over the next two weeks in preparation for state.”

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