Bluejay forensics team competes at State

The Sabetha High School Forensics team poses for a picture before leaving for the KSHSAA Speech and Drama State Championship at Wichita Southeast High School on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6. Pictured are FRONT ROW senior EllaWynn Laipple; MIDDLE ROW (L-R) Krae Aberle, Jacob Enneking, Karley Geist, Ava Payne, Abbey Gugelman, Carlee Hicks, Cameron Younie and Harper Smith; BACK ROW (L-R) Kristi Edelman, Avery Baumgartner, Hunter Larson, Kiley Teske, Kylah Edelman and Ellyannah Clinton.
This group of students receive a 1-rating for their act during the KSHSAA Speech and Drama State Championship on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, hosted by Wichita Southeast High School. Pictured are (L-R) Carlee Hicks, EllaWynn Laipple, Cameron Younie, Karley Geist, Ellyannah Clinton, Hayden Lippert, Jacob Enneking, Hunter Larson, Krae Aberle and Kiley Teske.
Junior Jacob Enneking, left, junior Harper Smith, middle, and senior EllaWynn Laipple, right, pose with the medals they earned at the KSHSAA Speech and Drama State Championship hosted by Wichita Southeast High School on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6.

Since the season began in late January, the Sabetha High School’s Forensics team has been competing during the regular season, practicing and polishing their speech and drama skills with hopes of nailing a performance that would qualify them for a State championship appearance.

“The kids can qualify for State at any tournament during the season,” explains coach and drama instructor Debbie Garber. “They have to place first or second, sometimes third in the event to qualify for the Championship, or fourth through sixth place for festival.”

Garber also explained that there are two categories that students can qualify for and perform at the State competition. These categories include Championship, which is a head-to-head tournament with students from across the state in 3A in their events, and Festival, which is much like State music in that students perform once and get a rating.

This year, the Bluejays qualified 12 performers in solo and duet events in the Championship category, and then entered one duet, one solo and a One Act Play in Festival. This 15-member team from Sabetha traveled to Wichita Southeast High for competition on Friday, May 5, through Saturday, May 6, in Wichita to compete against the state’s finest in high school speech and drama. The Jays brought home a 1-rating for their One Act Play, a second-place finish and two sixth-place finishes at State.

“We go to State with two priorities in mind,” Garber said. “One, perform at our best, and two, enjoy the company of teammates and of others who share a love for acting and public speaking.”

Students who competed in the Championship category include senior Kristi Edelman, Extemp Speaking (current events) and Poetry interpretation; junior Harper Smith, Serious Solo Acting and Prose Interpretation; junior Jacob Enneking, Serious Solo Acting; sophomore Krae Aberle and Enneking, Improvised Duet Acting; Krae Aberle, Impromptu Speaking; Abbey Gugelman, Poetry Interpretation; senior EllaWynn Laipple, Humorous Solo Acting and Impromptu Speaking; junior Avery Baumgartner, Informative Speaking; sophomore Kylah Edelman, Informative Speaking; sophomore Ellyannah Clinton, Informative Speaking; junior Laura Edelman, Impromptu Speaking, and freshmen Kiley Teske and Hunter Larson, Duet Acting.

Sabetha performers in the Festival category of the competition included freshmen Ava Payne and Naomi Pearson, Improvised Duet Acting, and sophomore Tristan Schmid, Humorous Solo Acting.

Sabetha also qualified a group to perform a One Act Play in Festival, which included seniors Hayden Lippert and Cameron Younie, Laipple, Enneking, Aberle and Clinton, junior Karley Geist, and sophomores Carlee Hicks, Teske and Larson.

The One Act Play entitled “You’re Driving Me Crazy” received a 1-rating at State. Enneking earned a second-place finish at the State competition in the category of Serious Solo. Laipple finished sixth overall in Humorous Solo, and Smith finished sixth in Prose Interpretation.

“I had so much fun at state,” Baumgartner said. “It was great to meet new friends and cheer everyone on with their performances. Even if you don’t make it to the finals, you can still have a blast with forensics.”

When reflecting on his final senior performance and Coach Garber’s retirement, Lippert said, “We’re down a teacher but full of class.”

Enneking, who earned the highest solo score for his team at State, said, “Ironically the stage is where some feel the most like themselves.”

“Being able to go out and socialize and make new friends every Saturday is the best part of forensics,” Gugelman said.

Sabetha finished 11th overall out of 42 schools participating, scoring of 155 points with 14 different entries in the competition.


Pete Schuetz240 Posts

Pete Schuetz is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where he has been on staff since 2022. Pete is a retired teacher from the USD 113 Prairie Hills School district. He lives in Sabetha with his wife and one of his two sons.


What Are Your Thoughts?


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password