Record showing for WHS Speech Team


The Waterloo High School Speech Team will have students compete in a record eight individual events at the IHSA state competition following another excellent season. 

Austin Bedford, Josie Giffhorn, Bobby Lee, Chuck Davidson, Anna Kuhnert, Drew Totra and Grant Barker will all be competing virtually at the state level this weekend. 

“Many of our students really stepped up this season,” WHS Speech coach John Rickert said. “Given the circumstances of the year, it would have been very easy to give up or work at half speed. However, these students not only avoided falling into that mindset, they also went above and beyond. While student individual accolades are always awesome and should be commended in their own right, the way that these guys worked together, held each other accountable and supported each other in a difficult season is what I think is a remarkable accomplishment.” 

The team earned two tournament championships and never finished lower than second place at any Southern Illinois Speech and Acting League Tournament this year.

The team placed second at the Harrisburg IHSA regional tournament with Mac Mercer,  Haley Bode, Barker, Carson Luhr and Davison all winning in at least one event. 

Waterloo’s Performance in the Round Cast of Jack Schnepel, Kayla Ahne, Marisa Hoffman, Claire Papenberg, Emma Wittenauer, Gillian Marquardt, Sarah Hanlin and Summer Wilson also won at regionals. 

The team was represented at every event in the sectional tournament last weekend. 

Eight students ranked in the top 25 of all SISAL speakers for the season. Wittenaur was ranked 18, Luhr was 14, Bedford was 10, Kuhnert was 9, Barker and Totra were tied at 7, Lee was 6 and Davidson was 4.

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