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Better than last year

By Staff | Mar 21, 2014

Rugby Hish School juniors Zach Miller and Emily Stier perform in front of an audience Tuesday. Miller and Stier took fourth place at the Minot State speech meet on Monday. Bryce Berginski/PCT

The last time the Rugby High School Speech team, under the direction of coach Kyle Vareberg, went to Minot State University to compete, the competition didn’t pan out in their favor.

“Minot State last year was kind of a downer meet,” Vareberg said. “We walked in with a good chunk of people and we broke one thing into finals and came home with six points.”

With that fresh on their minds, 16 members of the team competed at MSU again and did significantly better. Three Rugby duos placed in their final rounds of competition. Eighth-grader Kaitlyn Boucher took third and fourth in her events, while still being the team’s sole state qualifier.

Rugby was within 10 points of both Harvey and North Star, which Vareberg said was interesting when comparing to schools of similar size to RHS.

This weekend the team is in Carrington. Despite it being a Class B meet, RHS will face some stiff competition.

“There are 43 students in Humorous [Interpretation alone]. Carrington will be big, but it will be a good big,” Vareberg said. He added that 10 less students competed in that category at the MSU meet.

After Carrington, the team will have one more shot at getting high placers and state qualifiers in Cando (March 29) before the regional meet in Harvey (April 5).

This year, basketball, rather than the weather, has affected scheduling of two speech meets. The team was scheduled to go to Harvey on March 8, while the state boys basketball tournament was still in full swing. The meet scheduled earlier this year in Cooperstown was canceled due to numbers, which basketball played a small part in.

However, the coaching staff of Vareberg and Tammy Kruger remains undaunted. In addition to competitions, members of the team have gotten a couple of chances to hone their acts at different venues, and in front of audiences. Last week, members of the team performed pieces during the Dollars for Scholars fundraiser. On Tuesday, team members Jacob Berginski, Kelsey Schmaltz, and the duos of Zach Miller and Emily Stier and Darby Deckert and ReeAnn Christianson performed their pieces for the Fine Arts Night event. In two weeks, the team will have another chance to perform for an audience at Parents’ Night on April 1.

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