Wayne speech team wins conference title
Since joining the Mid-State Conference in 2001, Wayne High had never won a conference team championship in speech.
That changed on Feb. 24, as the Blue Devil Speakers were crowned conference champions at the Mid-State Conference Speech Meet at Battle Creek.
"Our conference is notoriously competitive in speech. We regularly see Mid-State kids not just at the state tournament, but in the state finals. You don't just show up and win the Mid-State Speech Tournament," said Wayne Head Speech Coach Dwaine Spieker on Saturday.
"All of our kids - but especially our seniors - brought the hammer," Spieker continued. "Their hard work of the last three months paid off in a big team victory."
With 283 points, Wayne finished 10 points ahead of runner-up Battle Creek in the team competition, followed by Pierce (271), Crofton (263), and Boone Central (258).
Senior Jack Osnes led the Wayne contingent by placing first in Serious Prose and second in Humorous Prose.
Other top individual placers for the Blue Devils were Junior Maura Loberg, who won the highest medal of her career by finishing first in Informative, and Senior Megan Keiser, who brought home top honors in Humorous Prose.
By placing first, all three champions were named to the Mid-State All-Conference Speech Team.
Other individual medalists for Wayne included Senior Grace Heithold, third in Poetry; the Duet Acting team of Seniors Jaci Torres and Sarah Wibben, fourth; Senior Miranda Fehringer, fourth in Persuasive; Senior Colton Spahr, fourth in Extemporaneous; and Freshman Christopher Woerdemann, fifth in Extemporaneous.
Spieker added that the scoring system for conference differs from a regular competition. "In a typical meet, only the finalists score points for the team.
"But at conference, where the district format is used, scoring is based more on the number of Superiors earned by all team members, whether they made finals and medaled or not. This essentially means that anyone who opened his or her mouth representing Wayne High today helped win this championship.
"This is truly a team award."
Wayne finishes its regular season on Saturday, March 3 at the Norfolk Panther Invite before competing in districts at Columbus Lakeview on Monday, March 12.