Approximately 185 Decorah High School students participated in the Northeast State Large Group Speech Contest hosted at Waterloo West High School on February 2. Over 115 high schools participated in the contest, with close to 3000 students and spectators enjoying the performances throughout the day.

Of the 26 entries the Vikings took to state contest, 24 came home with a top Division I Rating. DHS speech students are coached by Molly Holkesvik, Thomas Houdek, Carrie Kauffman, Gabe Twedt, and Kristen Underwood.

Judges selected eleven of Decorah High School performances as outstanding; these performances are honored with the coveted All-State Speech nomination. Eight of those groups will perform at the All-State Speech Festival on February 16 at the Iowa State Center in Ames.

“As directors, we couldn’t be more proud of our students and the way they represented Decorah High School on Saturday with not only their best performances of the season, but also with the effort they put into working through two tough weeks of fighting the weather and missing many rehearsals. They truly stepped up their game when it counted the most. We also need to thank our faithful fans for their great support all day long by packing the performance centers with supportive audiences. We are lucky to be part of such a strong community that supports the deep-rooted DHS speech team tradition,” stated the coaches.

DHS speech groups receiving a nomination as an All-State Honoree included one-act play, choral reading, two musical theaters, two solo mimes, two short films, two television news, and radio broadcasting. Cast lists for those groups are as follows:

One-Act Play “Wilderness”– AJ Morrow, Annette Leschensky, Christian Johnson, Greta Ransom, Joe Courtney, Jordyn Hussain, Leila Johnson, Logan Halverson, Luke Benzing, Mitchell Leschensky, Owen Burgdorf-Hibbs, Patrick Bockman, Payton Schutte, Seth Shindelar, Storme Barr, Tyler Irwin

Choral Reading “The Undoing of Evan Brandt”– Abby Hanson, Aidan Hunter, Ally Bouska, Amanda Kavan, Angel Pena-Rodriguez, Conner Cook, Ella Runestad, Jenna Raddatz, Kaj Spencer, Kendra Bigler, Mya Sullivan, Natalie Tapscott, Sarah Mumford, Shayla Betts, William Schwarz

Musical Theater “Something Rotten”– Christian Johnson, Cooper McElree, Kaj Spencer, Mitchell Leschensky, Noah Lovelace, Nolan Jostand, Tyler Irwin

Musical Theater “Into The Woods”– Abby Hanson, Ally Bouska, Annette Leschensky, Finn Deen-Lester, Lily Smith, Mazzi Hanson, Ruby Langholz, Sam Wilson

Solo Mime “Love Letter”– Mya Herrmann

Solo Mime “Wrongly Accused”– Finn Deen-Lester

Short Film “Broken”– Anna Tallier, Audrey Casterton, Blake Donlon, Braden Elton, Brooke Courtney, Cai Brevig, Clara Rooney, Grace Thompson, Isaac Dixon, Jenna Lundtvedt, Kalea Oftedahl, Katie Bjergum, Kiersten Benson, Mya Numedahl, Olivia Fahey

Short Film “Monochrome World”– Allison Pavlovec, Annika Franzen, Ruby Sullivan, Abby Halverson, Ashley Schneberger, Brielle Buresh, Caleb Huebner, Drew Chamberlain, Lauren Johnson, Grace Robison, MiKenna Martin, Kassidy Steines, Grace Gerleman, Hogan Smith, Koryn Bakken

Television News “Redemption”– Abby Pedlar, Alexis Svestka, Ambria Pipho, Celia Lesmeister, Emma Fretheim, Helen Weis, Jordan Reb, Kari Tangen, Katherine Bruening, Kiersten Benson, Maillie McCabe, Mazzi Hanson, Nils Holkesvik, Owen Burgdorf-Hibbs

Television News “Food for Thought”– Ann Meirick, Anna Blaess, Cassie Wyatt, Emma Nierengarten, Isaac Fish, Isaac Roberts, Kaitlin Walter, Katie Valkosky, Kaylee O’Connell, Leah Weis, Lisa Zheng, Liv Brustad, Lydia Ihde, Sierra Kruger, Skyler Malone

Radio Broadcasting “KURT”– Amanda Kuehner, Billy Lange, Claire Jensen, Emma Rolfs, Lillian Grouws, Nils Holkesvik, Tori Hines

DHS Varsity speech groups also receiving Division I Ratings at state contest included readers theater, two ensemble actings, musical theater, group improvisation, two group mimes, solo mime, short film, and radio broadcasting. Cast lists for those groups are as follows:

Readers Theater “Verily, A New Hope”¬¬– Billy Lange, Britta Swanson, Celia Lesmeister, Emma Fretheim, Emma Rooney, Jackson Berlage, Josie Numedahl, Katie Bjergum, Lillian Grouws, Maillie McCabe, Mara Frieden, Noah Lovelace, Sarah Pedlar, Sawyer Vanden Brink, Sydney Landstrom

Ensemble Acting “These Shining Lives”– Emma Rooney, Natalie Tapscott, Sam Wilson, Sophie Schwarz, Sydney Landstrom

Ensemble Acting “The Boys Next Door”– Britta Swanson, Christian Carlson, Hayden Carlson, Katie Storlie, Owen Henning, Sarah Mumford

Musical Theater “Waitress”– Amber Hussain, Jordyn Hussain, Leila Johnson

Group Improvisation: Hayden Carlson, Jackson Berlage, Maddie Putnam, Sawyer Vanden Brink

Group Mime “Who Are You?”– Abby Pedlar, Alli Groux, Ann Meirick, Josie Numedahl, Kaya Hougen, Mya Herrmann

Group Mime “A Day at the Museum”– Alexis Svestka, Izzy Elwood, Katherine Bruening, Katie Storlie, Maddie Putnam, Rebecca Klotzbach

Solo Mime “Pull Your Elf Together”– Katie Valkosky

Short Film “The Letter”– Alli Groux, Amber Hussain, Anja Madsen, Brayden Krivachek, Delaynee Frey, Fiona Buresh, Gus Hayes, Lars Marquardt, Luke Walter, Lydia Ihde, McKenzie Hageman, Nathaniel Cowie, Rebecca Klotzbach, Ruby Langholz, Sophie Weis

Radio Broadcasting “KAMP”– Alysa Hanson, Hallie Johnson, Jay Fjelstul, Joe Courtney, Mara Frieden, Rose Gullekson, Sophia Maguina, Stacia Sexton

DHS 9th speech groups also receiving Division I Ratings included one group improvisation, one radio broadcasting, and one television news. Cast lists for those groups are as follows:

Group Improvisation: Dylan Muhlbauer, Isaac Cooper, Landan Folkedahl, Nadia Johnson

Radio Broadcasting “KURL”– Anya Lovstuen, Grace Bachelder, Hallie Busta, Kaya Hines, Morgan Dlhy, Samantha Reilly

Television News “Teen Talk”– Anya Lovstuen, Hallie Busta, Kassidy Steines, Landan Folkedahl, Dylan Muhlbauer, Isaac Cooper, Karter Einck, Kolten Gossman, Tyler Shedinger, Mikiah Krieg, Dalton Hemesath, Riley Wilson

Other DHS speech groups who also competed at the state contest included the following:

Ensemble Acting “The Wolves”– Allison Jermier, Anna Tallier, Danielle Lundtvedt, Emma Brauer, Isabelle Kingsbury, Morgan Brauer