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State Champs... Again

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HNS picks up another State One Act title

HARTINGTON - Champions once again.

The Hartington-Newcastle Wildcats One Act group earned a fourth state championship in the five years since the two schools merged.

It is back-to-back championships for the second time in HNS history. The school won two consecutive championships in 2014 and 2015 before earning runner-up in 2016. The school rebounded with a championship again in 2017, and now another in 2018.

Belle Harms, Shaye Morten, and Sam Harms were recognized as Outstanding Performers at the state competition in Norfolk. HNS performed “Peter and the Starcatcher,” directed by AJ Johnson, Linda Kathol and Lindsey Stappert.

“I’m just really happy for them all. They worked really hard and there are a lot of things. I am proud of the way they worked because you can’t always control the outcome in this but you can control how hard you work and they worked like champions. That is what I’m most proud of.”

Sam Harms also was recognized as the Overall Outstanding Male Performer award for the second straight year. He also says work ethic earned him and his classmates another state championship.

“I definitely believed in myself. Of course, there were doubts, but I think sticking with it and working hard throughout the entire season really got us there.”

Harms did say however that when he was on stage receiving his individual award, he was rather nervous about the team results that had not been announced yet.

“I was very nervous. It is kind of an indescribable feeling when you are standing up there, and of course, when they said my name it felt very surreal.”

Sam’s sister Belle also felt some nerves when she was on stage receiving her Outstanding Performer certificate.

“[It was] very nerve-racking because all I was thinking about while I was up there was our team results. I was happy for getting this award but team results were what mattered the most to me.”

Morten says he wasn’t nervous though standing next to Sam on stage with the Outstanding Performers.

“I wasn’t really nervous, I was just more excited, but when Sam walked up next to me his hands were shaking and I could see his nerves. I told him ‘Sam just calm down,’ and it worked out in the end.”

The state championship play was a minute and a half slower than at Districts, running just over 29 minutes. Johnson said it helped the play breathe and flow better.

“At Districts, I think we rushed and we didn’t let some of our funny things happen. It was still funny and we got laughs, but sometimes you have to just let moments happen and we talked a lot about that and worked hard on that.”

If it hasn’t been recognized as one yet, Johnson has built a dynasty with the Wildcats. Hartington won three straight state championships from 2011-2013, then the school merger between Hartington and Newcastle showed continued success with state titles in 2014, 2015, 2017, and now 2018. That is seven titles in eight years, with seven Overall Outstanding Performers in that same timeframe.

For Belle Harms, and her fellow seniors, they leave One Act on top with three state championships during their high time in high school, and she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

“This championship means the world to me. It is everything I look forward to the first half of the school year every year. We always plan on coming down here, and it means so much to win my senior year.”



Class C2 State One Act Results

Hartington-Newcastle, 176; Loup City, 174; Franklin, 171; Lourdes Central Catholic, 167; Sutherland, 166; McCook Junction, 163.