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Rokusek, Kleinschmit hoping to talk their way into State title contention

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HARTINGTON – Grace Kleinschmit and Elizabeth Rokusek are ready to wow with their words against the best speakers that Class C2 has to offer.

The two Cedar Catholic students will represent the Trojans at the Nebraska School Activities Association’s 2022 State Speech Championships.

Grace, a junior, and Elizabeth, a sophomore, are set to compete against other Class C2 state speech qualifiers on Thursday, March 17, at Kearney High School in Kearney.

“It’s weird to think we’re already at this point of the season,” Grace said. “It seems like it was just last week that we were going to the first meet in early January.

“I’ve been blessed with a successful season and such a great team to perform with,” she said. “I’ve made so many great memories with these kids and my coaches and they are what makes the speech experience awesome.”

Jennifer Kleinschmit, Grace’s mother, has enjoyed watching her daughter’s success this season as both a parent and the Trojans’ assistant speech coach.

“I am also so very proud of our state qualifiers, and all of the kids on the team for the growth they showed this season,” Jennifer said. “Grace is my oldest daughter, and it is really a blessing to be able to share these experiences with her.”

Jennifer assists Beth Sindelar, Cedar Catholic’s head speech coach, with the team, which has competed in 10 meets this season.

“Our speech team may be small, but they are mighty, and we have a truly familyfeeling vibe within the group of kids and with Beth, the head coach,” Jennifer said. “It is a great way to spend so many hours and Saturdays during the school year.”

Elizabeth noted that she is really proud of her team members’ hard work and is excited to perform at the state speech competition for the first time.

She earned a spot in the state contest after securing second place in Poetry at the District C2-3 speech meet on March 1.

Grace is returning to the state competition after finishing in first place in both Poetry and Serious Prose at the district meet.

She qualified for the state contest last year and was crowned as the Class C2 state champion in Serious Prose.

“I’m so proud of everyone’s growth and success throughout the past few months and super proud of Elizabeth for also qualifying for state,” Grace said. “I’m excited to see where the rest of our season goes and will be forever thankful for a great season.”

For more information on the state speech competition, people may visit