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DC speech team charges on
May 22, 2020

Beth Steinleitner
Dassel-Cokato High School
Head speech coach

DASSEL-COKATO, MN – The speech team season came to a screeching halt in the middle of March, so we thought. The team began their Saturday competitions in January, and was less than three weeks away from competing in the section tournament, when the Minnesota State High School League canceled the remaining portion of our season.

Our speechies had polished performances and nowhere to speak, until the MSHSL gave teams permission to enter virtual tournaments. Yes, virtual tournaments. A new way to compete was on the horizon. Luckily, speech can go on even during stay-at-home orders.

As the head speech coach, I knew that we had to look into these tournaments for our speakers. We needed to give it our all, one last time.

The MASQ (Making Arts while Socially Quarantined) Tournament was sponsored by The Perfect Performance and NIETOC (National Individual Events Tournament of Champions). This high school only tournament was held May 13 to 17, all online. There were 664 competitors from 186 teams across the nation participating.

The tournament limited the categories students were able to compete in, and only three members of the Dassel-Cokato Speech Team entered our first virtual speech tournament. Erikka Langemo, Dylan Tessmer, and Jubal Nelson each recorded one speech, and it was entered into the competition.

It was great for the team to have the excitement over these last few days to read critiques and wait on scores again.

Jubal Nelson competed in his secondary category of humor. He did well in the prelims, but it was not enough to advance.

Erikka Langemo competed in drama and missed advancing into quarterfinals by one point.

Dylan Tessmer wowed his judges with his original oratory all the way from prelims, to quarterfinals and semifinals. There were 166 competitors in the original oratory category. Dylan placed 13th overall which was announced Sunday evening during the online awards ceremony.

Tessmer said, “It was very fun to be able have another opportunity to give my speech again and to compete with other speechies across the nation.”

Dassel-Cokato Speech Team is excited for Erikka Langemo to compete in a virtual Senior Only Tournament through the National Speech and Debate Association at the end of May. Go Charger Speech.

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