Rachel Engels (right) is congratulated for her first place honor. Sean Dilley applauded her (center).

Breakthrough win for speech team

Minneota emerged at the team champion from among 16 teams competing at the Luverne Cardinals Speech Invitational on Saturday.
“Getting first place at Luverne was so cool,” said Gades. “The first time our team won a team trophy in my coaching tenure was at Luverne in 2016."
“Funny enough, Amanda (Engels, the assistant coach) and I were talking about that day on the way down. And since we hadn’t gotten a trophy before, the kids didn’t really know what to do when they called our school up. We just started motioning to some of the kids to go up on stage for awards.”
Minneota's Speech team has been steadily improving in recent years and this win is further proof of that. Although this is the first time this year that Minneota has placed first, the team has fared well in all of its meets.
The last first-place finish came in 2017 at the Adrian Dragon Invitational, although Minneota did amass the most points of any team at its home meet last year.
“However, as hosts, we stay out of the running for a team trophy at our home meet,” Gades noted.
Two individuals also placed first in their particular category at Luverne; Brenden Kimpe in Extemporaneous Speaking and Rachel Engels in Informative.
Minneota sent 21 individuals to the invitational and 15 placed in the top eight; receiving either a medal or a ribbon.
Engels, one of only two seniors on the team, has participated in speech for the past six years; one of those as a seventh-grader in Ivanhoe before they closed their high school.
Engels’ speech is entitles “Fantastic Physicoaster Phenomena”.
“In her speech, Rachel discusses the science and physics behind rollercoasters,” explained Gades. “In Informative, participants pick a topic and craft a speech out of what they want to inform their audience about. It’s very interesting."

”Informative is unique from the other categories since participants are allowed to use visual aids in order for the audience to understand what the speaker is explaining.
Kimpe, a junior, is a two-time state entrant and has been a team captain for Minneota over the past two years.
“Brenden is very passionate about speech,” said Gades. “Extemporaneous Speaking, which Brenden competes in, is a draw category."
“That means he doesn’t know specifically what he will be speaking about each round. He draws three questions out of an envelope and picks the one he knows the most information about.”
Kimpe, and other in this category, are then allowed 30 minutes to answer the question and support it with evidence such as news articles and other resources. The topic focus for Extemporaneous Speaking is current events and current political issues.
Others receiving medals for finishing in the top six in their respective category for Minneota were: Emma Lipinski, second place in Great Speeches; Cecilia Rabaey, fifth in Creative; Ella Bot, fifth in Extemporaneous Reading; Sean Dilley, fifth in Informative; Tristan Bierschenk, sixth in Discussion; Natalie Bot/Tara Thooft, sixth in Duo; Alyssa Engels, sixth in Original Oratory; and Zoe DeBoer, sixth in Storytelling.
Receiving ribbons for finishing in the top eight were: Trevor Belaen in Discussion; Jacob Haen in Humorous; Morgen Wersal in Poetry; and Cora Bolt in Poetry.
Minneota competes next in the Montevideo Invitational on Saturday, March 9.


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