Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Time to read
less than
1 minute
Read so far

HNS speech team looks to defend its Class C2 state speech title

Posted in:

HARTINGTON – The Hartington- Newcastle High School speech team is hoping to talk its way to another title in 2023.

The Wildcats were supposed to kick off their season by co-hosting the Hartington-Newcastle/Cedar Catholic Invitational on Jan. 28, but the event was canceled due to a snowstorm and will not be rescheduled.

Instead, HNS took part in a small practice meet Monday in Wynot, along with teams for several other area communities.

Longtime speech coach A.J. Johnson noted he is looking forward to watching his students embrace the challenge of competition and working to get better every week.

“I just want us to be the best team we can be,” Johnson said. “I’d also like to see our older kids embrace our new faces, encourage them and push them to improve.”

Hartington-Newcastle has six seniors this speech season, including returning state medalists Turner Dendinger, Lane Heimes, Carsen Hopping and Alivia Morten.

Those students helped the Wildcats win Class C2 last year at the Nebraska School Activities Association State Speech Championships.

Hartington-Newcastle started practicing in December to get ready to defend its state title this year.

The Wildcats have about 25 students out for speech this season – about the same number they had last year.

“Typically, students practice two to three times a week,” Johnson said. “Practices are generally individualized and worked to fit their schedules and other activities.”

The 26-year speech coach veteran expressed his excitement for this season.

“I really enjoy watching the kids grow and compete,” Johnson said. “It’s fun to see kids do things they didn’t think they could do.