Speech and drama

Competing in the hardest meet of the season so far, the Choteau High School speech team took first place in sweeps and the drama team took second overall.

“There were approximately 200 competitors in the very first speech and drama meet to be held at East Helena High,” Choteau’s speech and drama coach Cody Marney said. “The day was much longer than B/C tournaments as the A and AA schools tend to hold four preliminary rounds and finals versus our traditional three and finals. The kids were troopers and expanded their friend group and collectively worked hard.”

Three individuals brought home first-place awards at the meet: Jackson Quillan in dramatic oral interpretation and Tori Newmiller and Savannah Stanek in dramatic theater duo.

Finishing right behind them was Hailey Alzheimer in second place in informative speaking. Rounding out those placing were Ella Birkeland and CeCe Parsons, fifth in humorous theater; Robby Lesofski, fifth in humorous solo; Anna Heimbuck, eighth in spontaneous oral interpretation; Dawson Wright, eighth in humorous solo; and Kenny Quillan, ninth in informative speaking.

“Competing against the AA kids is always a challenge because this is what they do year-round,” Marney said. “It is like those kids that do AAU volleyball or wrestling. With that being said, Choteau’s four speech kids were able to hold their own against some stiff competition.”

“Kenny (Quillan) got his first taste of what informative speaking can look like,” the coach said. “While he did not advance to the top eight round, he did learn some valuable tips and tricks, missing finals by just one point.”

“Anna (Heimbuck) is still feeling out and becoming comfortable with SPOI,” Marney said. Heimbuck advanced to the final round, saying that the prep and presentation are becoming easier. “She is working hard and figuring out what the judges will be looking for during the presentation portion of her event,” Marney said.

The coach said Newmiller and Stanek came out on top competing against some AA competitors that don’t have this style of event. “Their equivalent is duo interpretation where the two performers are not allowed to look at or physically touch each other,” Marney said. “They are also not allowed props or costumes.”

“On the humorous side, CeCe (Parsons) was able to join the team for her first tournament ever,” Marney said. He added that Parsons and Birkeland stayed right in the middle all day and received some very helpful judge critiques. “Now that they have a meet together under their belt, we can begin to flesh out the piece and really give it some life,” Marney said.

“The humorous solo boys are really working hard this season,” Marney said. “This tends to be one of the most competitive drama events. Robby (Lesofsk) is making people laugh with a selection of Rowan Atkinson skits and Dawson (Wright) is continuing to delight the judges with his version of classic “The Cat in the Hat” from Dr. Seuss.”

The team will be off this week for the Thanksgiving break. The team’s next meet is Dec. 18 in Fort Benton.