For the second week in a row, the Nebraska City High School Pioneer speech team finished in fifth place in team sweepstakes, this time at the Central Players Invitational at Raymond-Central High School Saturday, Jan. 13.
Millard North was first, followed by Lincoln Southwest, Norfolk Senior High, and Omaha Brownell-Talbot. The tournament drew more than 370 entries from 25 high schools.
Oliver Borchers-Williams, a senior, won the tournament triathlon award, which is presented to students competing in three events. Borchers-Williams was tournament champion in informative speaking, runner-up in persuasive speaking, and third in extemporaneous. The previous weekend, Borchers-Williams won the triathlon award at the Millard North Invitational.
Ellie Higgins, freshman, came in fifth in humorous interpretation. Syndey Blum, freshman, was sixth in extemporaneous speaking.
In next-in finals, Chloe Higgins, senior, finished second in persuasive speaking, while senior Shea Kinnison was fourth in poetry interpretation.
The finishes by Borchers-Williams and Ellie Higgins qualify them for the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions in Denver in original oratory and humorous interpretation, respectively.
The Pioneer Speakers will next compete on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the 14th annual Lincoln Southwest Silver Talon Speech Tournament.
Nebraska City’s Head Coach is Dr. Susanne Williams. She is assisted by Coach Justin Aaberg. For the team’s live tournament updates, follow them on Twitter @PioneerSpeech.
The Nebraska City High School speech team began preparations for the season in October and started competing in December with the season continuing into March for districts and state.
Those who qualify for nationals will compete in June. Borchers-Williams qualified for nationals last year for international extemporaneous and advanced to the quarterfinals. The Nebraska City coaches are excited about the progress of this year’s team and is hopeful of qualifying a few more for nationals.
The Nebraska City students compete in 12 different events for speech. Most of the Pioneer team members compete in two events while a few compete in three different events.
The 22-member Nebraska City team competes in 11-12 regular season tournaments, in addition to Eastern Midland Conference, Nebraska South District Nat-Quals, B1 Districts, State, and, hopefully, NIETOC and NSDA nationals.
Team members travel mostly to the Lincoln/Omaha area each weekend. This weekend’s tournament at Lincoln Southwest will be a huge event with more than 750 entries. Tournaments last most of the day with 2-3 preliminary rounds and finals. The Pioneer speakers typically leave at 6:15 a.m. and don’t return until between 7-8 p.m.