Graham, Wright get state speech honors at HTC

Brianna Wright and Claire Graham, both of Holy Trinity Catholic High School were awarded Iowa State Speech honors last week. Submitted photo

FORT MADISON – In the midst of the COVID-19 “shut down” frenzy, the Holy Trinity Catholic High School Speech team was able to present their talents before IHSSA certified judges for review and ratings.

HTC had been scheduled to travel to Grinnell High School where one hundred teams and well over a thousand students were to gather for the annual contest.

On Thursday,  March 12th the IHSSA State Office notified all of its member schools that the 2020 State Contest was canceled. However, as part of the original message, coaches were allowed to bring in judges to evaluate their orators in small local events. HTC coach, Joe Harmon, was able to arrange for judges to be available to his team on Saturday morning, which was prior to the announcement of a four week total shutdown of all high school events and activities. 

Ten of the 13 HTC orators who had earned the right to advance to the state level took advantage of this opportunity. Three of the team members were double entered and by the end of the morning all 13 performances had earned Division “I” ratings.

The best news came later that evening, when Mr. Harmon received notification that HTC had earned “All State” awards in three areas. Senior, Claire Graham, was named “All State” in two different categories: Prose and Solo Musical Theater. Freshman, Brianna Wright,earned “All State” recognition in Public Address. 

The other team members receiving Division “I” ratings at State were; Juniors- Danny Caruso, Acting and Improv. Acting; Elizabeth Ebbing, Poetry and Prose; Ava Peitz, Literary Program; Annabelle Scheetz, Poetry; John Stinson, Literary Program; Yuhan (Tina) Huang, Original Oratory; Sophomore – Lucy Graham, Public Address; and Freshman – Laura Mehmert, Expository Address. 

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