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Going for the Gold

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District win sets the scene as one-act team heads to state

HARTINGTON — Lane Heimes and Reece Morten weren’t surprised when their Hartington-Newcastle One-Act team won its district competition last week.

But that didn’t stop the two from being ecstatic in celebration with their teammates.

“We threw our hands in the air, screamed and gave hugs to everyone around. It was such a great feeling,” Heimes said.

Hartington-Newcastle’s performance of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” beat out Stanton, Wisner-Pilger and five other schools for the top district spot. The team will move on to state competition, performing at 3 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 9, at Norfolk’s Johnny Carson Theatre.

Wausa-Osmond’s one-act team also won its district and will move on to state competition while other area schools are bowing out of the limelight after putting forth a good showing.

In District D1-3, Wynot took second with “The Jungle Book” and Randolph third with “The Ladies Declare.”

Cedar Catholic received third-place in C2-3 with “Persephone” and Laurel-Concord-Coleridge netted a sixth-place finish for “Mmmbeth” in District C1-3.

Hartington-Newcastle One-Act Coach A.J. Johnson said he was extremely pleased with the team’s performance.

“You can’t control whether you win or lose but you can control your energy and effort and that was simply outstanding,” he said.

It was the type of energy that was felt by the cast even during the performance, Heimes said.

“Every time I went off stage, I just smiled because I was having so much fun,” he said.

Morten agreed, feeling very accomplished as all of the team’s hard work paid off.

“All of the changes we made throughout the season and all the laughs we got during the performance, I knew we were going to make it,” he said.

During the past week, the team continued fine-tuning some areas to prepare for state.

“We’ll continue to work on our performance and bring out more of the comedy as well as strengthen our characters and delivery,” Johnson said.

Hartington-Newcastle will try to upstage Elmwood-Murdock, Hemingford, Southern Valley and Creighton in the C2 state event Thursday.

“All of the teams at state are good,” Johnson said. “You don’t get to state without being worthy, so we’ll have to work on being our best.”

Heimes admits the team is looking for a bit of a revenge win against Creighton after they beat Hartington-Newcastle in districts last year, preventing them from a run at the state title in 2020.

“I don’t have any worries because I know we will practice hard the next couple days to make our finishing touches before the trip,” he said.

The team will face stiff competition but expectations remain high of stealing the entire show.

“I am sure there are teams headed to state that are pretty good, but I believe we have something special this year,” Morten said. “I think our chances are very high and our goal is to come home with nothing short of first place.”