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The New Richmond Forensics team participated in the State Forensics meet on Friday, April 11, at the UW-Madison campus.The team set many records at the meeting, including bringing home 12 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals. (Submitted photo)

Forensics team awarded speech award

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On April 15, the New Richmond High School Forensics team was awarded the prestigious “Excellence in Speech Award” by the Wisconsin High School Forensics Association, which is given to the top 5 percent scoring schools competing at the state Speech Festival at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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“It works out to be the top 18 schools get this award, but we don’t know who those schools are because they don’t break it out,” said Danette Tellijohn, who coaches the team along with Sarah Fastelin. “That is out of 351 schools in the state. So we are in the top 18 out of 351 schools. The seniors won it their freshman year, but we haven’t won the award now for two years in between.”

The state competition took place on April 11 on the UW-Madison campus and the New Richmond students who were on the state team took home 12 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals in their events.

“State, for the most part, lived up to my expectations,” said team member Christian Martin. “I was a little nervous when I was getting ready to go, but I was able to keepmyself under control and ended up getting a perfect score again.”

For most of the New Richmond students who took part in the state competition it felt like the state meet was a little more laid back and less stressful than any of the meets during the rest of the season.

“It is a bit more relaxed at state since it is something the whole team gets to do and it is not as high intensity of a meet,” said team member Stephanie Nelson. “And it was nice to see us all take part in getting there and being a team.”

For the members of the New Richmond team, winning the speech award shows more than just how well they all did individually.

“Everyone works hard for the award, but it is an overall result,” said team member Franki Wood. “It isn’t just about what everyone scored separately, but it is also about what everyone contributes to. Since it was the seniors’ last year, we wanted to strive to put in a little extra too and the end result was receiving more than we asked for.”

Six seniors are graduating this year out of the 27 members who finished the season with the team. Those who are leaving the team will remember their time competing for more than just the awards and medals they won.

“It didn’t hit me until the state meet and after I was done with my event that this all was actually done for me,” said team member Carly Ferguson. “I was actually in a room with different girls who I’ve seen at other meets who I had never spoken more than five words to and it was so sad because I realized that I would never see them again or see their performances again.”

And not only will the team members miss the competitions and the people they have competed against, but they will miss their teammates who they have spent so much time with over the last few months or years.

“You go through all four years of Forensics, if you are in it that long, and you are with the same people and you get super close with them and have a whole bunch of fun, but when it is done you realize it is the last meet and you will never perform with these people again,” said team member Allie Hasler.

With this season finally over, most of the students on the team are already looking toward next year. However, they do realize that even though they won the speech award this season, it doesn’t mean that they have to win it every year.

“Coming back next year, it isn’t so much that we have to get the same award every single year because when we come back it will just be us making our mark on NewRichmond High School Forensics and it doesn’t have to be perfect,” said team member Aaron Tenner.

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Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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