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Going for Gold

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HNS going after another State One Act title

NEWCASTLE — Hartington-Newcastle is looking for gold again.

The HNS One Act team is heading back to the Class C2 One Act State competition for the school’s fifth straight year.

The Wildcats won the state championship in 2014, 2015 and 2017, with a runner-up finish in 2016.

Hartington’s streak for qualifying extends even longer, for a total of eight years. Hartington High won the state championship in 2011, 2012 and 2013 before Hartington and Newcastle merged.

This year, Hartington-Newcastle won District C2-3 after hosting it at Newcastle Elementary.

HNS competed against Cedar Catholic, Lutheran High Northeast, Guardian Angels Central Catholic, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Omaha Nation, and Walthill — with teams finishing in that order.

It was a battle between Hartington schools at the end. Hartington-Newcastle finished with 177 points, earning a first-place finish and 59 points from each of the three judges. Cedar Catholic earned second place with a score of 58 by all three judges for 174 total points.

In One Act, only the winner of each District competes at the State competition in Norfolk.

“I think there are a lot of talented kids in our area,” said HNS coach A.J. Johnson. 'I watched Cedar Catholic's play and they did an exceptional job. It is just great to see the kids in our area excel. It is too bad only one of us can go [to State], but they did a great job."

HNS junior Shaye Morten plays Peter Pan in “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a prequel to the famed childhood story of Peter Pan. He says it feels good to be heading back to Johnny Carson Theater and he expects to play on his experience from previous years for this year’s performance at State.

“I think it is a big advantage being there before, knowing what the stage is like, and knowing how hard we have to work the next couple of days in order to win State,” said Morten.

Johnson says there are a few picky things that he wants to adjust before the State competition, but that the District performance was superb.

“We feel great about our performance,” said Johnson. “The kids, I am just really proud of how they performed. They did everything we asked them to do, had a lot of energy, they focused, and they performed like champions today.”

For the rest of the schools, the One Act season is over. For Hartington-Newcastle, the Wildcats will compete on Thursday morning in the Class C2 competition.

Hartington-Newcastle will be the fourth of six Class C2 teams to perform. HNS is slotted to perform at 10:45 a.m. Hartington-Newcastle is competing against Loup City, Lourdes Central, Franklin, Sutherland, and McCool Junction.

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