VALLEY CITY, N.D. ( This past Saturday, January 12th the Valley City High School Speech Team kicked off their 2019 competitive season with a home tournament held at the high school.

The tournament featured around 300 students and 450 entries which makes it one of the largest tournaments that the speech team will compete in throughout the season. Twenty three schools, both Class A and Class B, were present at the tournament and the mix made for a competitive field in many of the events.

The Hi-Liner Speech Team had 54 kids competing at the tournament. It is customary for the host team of a tournament to pull themselves out of the team sweepstakes award. There was four sweepstakes awards given out. Placing in order were: Dickinson (1st), Enderlin-MV (2nd), Carrington (3rd), West Fargo Sheyenne (4th)

Individual placers for VCHS were as follows:

Speech to Inform: Emmalee Jones (Top Novice Award), Catherine (Katy) Meester (7th)

Serious Prose: Gabriella Shipp (4th)

Impromptu Speaking: Gabriella Shipp (7th)

Storytelling: Sophia Boe (3rd), Elizabeth Gazeley (2nd, State Qualified on A/B split)

Poetry: Lillian Kiefert (6th), Gabriella Shipp (5th)

Serious Duo: Brooke Ask/Rylee Cihak (6th)

Radio Broadcasting: Eliza Johnson (6th)

Dramatic Interpretation: Madi Klabo (1st and State Qualified)

Speech to Entertain: Amelia Meester (8th)

Speech to Persuade: Elizabeth Gazeley (2nd)

Humorous Duo: Amelia Meester/Katy Borg (Top Novice), Sophia Boe/Dylan Quick (5th), Elizabeth Gazeley/Katy Meester (3rd)

Extemporaneous Programmed Reading: Olivia Slyter (7th), Eliza Johnson (6th), Catherine (Katy) Meester (1st and State Qualified)

Extemporaneous Speaking: Lillian Kiefert (8th)


VCHS had 18 entries advance to the final round of competition. Three VCHS students qualified for the State Class A Speech Tournament on April 13th. Students qualify for state by placing 1st in an event or by placing 2nd if the 1st place team is from Class B.

After losing a large senior class, the VCHS Speech is looking to build on younger talent. There are roughly 70 kids on the Hi-Liner speech team and almost half of them are in the 7th and 8th grade. Next up for competition is the North Sargent Speech Invitational in Gwinner, ND on January 26th. The North Sargent tournament will be a primarily Class B tournament that will have mostly teams from Region 1, 2, and 6.