03/30/12 On Saturday, the Plymouth High School Speech Team went up against 100 teams from around the state in the IHSFA (Indiana High School Forensic Association) Tournament held at Fisher’s High School.

When all was said and done, PHS Placed 2nd in the AA Schools Division and 3rd place from all of the schools entered.


Each of the 14 events begins with 45-60 students who have qualified from sectional competition. To advance to the state level, a competitor must place in the top seven in their event.

At the state tournament, a competitor must compete in three preliminary rounds to the top eighteen and then two semi-final rounds. The top six in each event compete in the final round.

Placing for PHS included the following:

Michaila Nate – 2nd in USA Extemp (1st Team All-State)

Michaila Nate – 2nd in Impromptu (1st Team All-State)

Pauline Dagaas – 2nd in Prose (1st Team All-State)

Jason Pickell – 3rd in Poetry (1st Team All-State)

Patrick Felke – 5th in International Extemp (2nd Team All-State)

Pauline Dagaas – 5th in Declamation (2nd Team All-State)

Kelsey Shaffer – 5th in USA Extemp (2nd Team All-State)

Shelby Pratt – 5th in Humor (2nd Team All-State)

Patrick Felke – 6th in Impromptu (2nd Team All-State)

April Bowen – 6th in Drama (2nd Team All-State)



SEMI-FINALISTS (advanced through three preliminary rounds to the top eighteen)

  • Ashton Morrow – 7th in Declamation
  • Rebecca Brumbaugh and Shelby Pratt – 7th in Memorized Duo
  • Ellen Smith – 8th in Declamation
  • Miranda Hacha – 8th in Prose
  • Olivia Hilliard and Cassie Gaines – 11th in Scripted Duo
  • Jason Pickell and Kyle Barry – 11th in Memorized Duo
  • Travis Tredway – 12th in Declamation
  • Rebecca Brumbaugh – 12th in Original Oratory
  • Ashton Morrow – 13th in Poetry
  • Ellen Smith – 14th in Original Oratory
  • Olivia Hilliard – 15th in Prose
  • Kate Peters – 16th in Humor
  • Luke Bumpus and Tyler Wagner – 17th in Original Performance
  • Kylee Rippy 17th in International Extemp


(advanced to the tournament but did not qualify beyond the three preliminary rounds to the top eighteen)

  • Christie Gorka – 19th in Poetry
  • Chase Holzwart and Kalee Lowry – 19th in Scripted Duo
  • Jessica Cleveland – 20th in Drama
  • April Bowen and Kate Peters – 20th in Original Performance
  • Gracie Gilbertson – 20th in Poetry
  • Gracie Gilbertson and Travis Tredway – 22nd in Scripted Duo
  • Kelsey Shaffer – 23rd in Impromptu
  • Jon Howard – 24th in Discussion
  • Becca Houser – 27th in Humor
  • Kristen Gergely – 36th in Broadcasting
  • Brantlee Joseph – 46th in Discussion
  • Garrick Nate 47th in Broadcasting



Head Coach David McKenzie said, “We knew this year’s tournament was going to be another uphill battle.  However, this entire team believed in one another and fought hard to make the climb beginning in round 1 of the Sectional.  That climb and willingness to compete hard continued until the last final was over at the State Tournament.”

He added. “It’s really hard immediately after the tournament when a State Championship is your goal.  However, finishing 2nd in our class and 3rd overall was fantastic.  It is something that they will grow to appreciate later.  So many times, it’s hard to realize that there are only two teams – out of the over two hundred that compete during the year – who would not be willing to trade places with us.”


McKenzie praised this year’s team saying, “As always, this group represented PHS and the community with poise and professionalism.  They were a class act from start to finish.”


“While we were led by a great group of seniors, it was a young and inexperienced group in so many ways.  We lose a lot of quality public address speakers and some strong interpretation speakers to graduation, but we will have a lot of that youth to build on for next season.” he said.

McKenzie said, “The 2012 PHS had three juniors and two sophomores in the final round; eight sophomores and one freshman in the semi-final rounds; and one junior; seven sophomores and five freshmen at the state tournament that did not advance to the break round, but gained some vary valuable experience.”

Carol Anders Correspondent