HARTINGTON — A Hartington-Newcastle freshman pulled off a rare feat last week.
Sam Harms won over judges in Kearney Friday in the Entertainment Speaking competition, earning first place at the State Speech Meet.
Harms had to write his own speech in this competition, and he said it was difficult at first,
“At first I wanted to write a speech about being short and wanting to get tall,” said Sam Harms. “Then Mr. Johnson and I ran into a problem when we couldn’t think of anything to write about short people. So then I wrote it about segregation of tall and short and how it needs to change.”
To further complicate things, the 6-4 Harms also had to balance starting on the varsity basketball team during the entire speech season.
“It was difficult balancing the two,” said Harms. “At first I was mainly focused on basketball, because it is my favorite thing in the world, but once basketball was over I could really focus on speech. I found a new love for it when I could really buckle down and get better at speech.”
Harms described waiting to find out how he did in finals as an odd mixture of both exciting and nerve-racking.
“When I was sitting at awards I said, ‘ It’s like waiting for Christmas morning, but there is a five out of six chance that I will get coal.’ It feels great but it will be very hard to live up to these expectations for the rest of high school,” said Harms.
The freshman doesn’t shy away from the pressure though, as he already has his sights set on new goals now.
“I hope that the state champion part will carry into other things like sports,” said Harms. “Also, I want to get first in two categories and make it to the Best of the Best list.”
Each year the NSAA puts out a Best of the Best list of all of the best speech participants in all classes.