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Speakers Prepare for Big Event at FDSH - from The Messenger

March 10, 2023

Fort Dodge Senior High School will welcome students from 88 schools as it hosts the Iowa High School Speech Association Northwest Iowa Individual State competition this Saturday.

It's the first time since 2021 that Fort Dodge has played host to a state competition, but it's the first time in Speech Coach Lindey Krug's tenure that FDSH is hosting state on this large of a scale.

"In 2021, schools had the choice of hosting state or going virtual for state competition," she said. "We chose to host. We had around 20 schools. A lot of schools did smaller state competitions and hosted and a lot hosted virtually that year."

Fort Dodge will have competitors in all 14 of the categories competing at state. Being at home for a competition is a welcome change, according to Krug.

"The kids are pretty excited about being able to compete at home instead of traveling," Krug said. "Getting up at dawn to travel isn't ideal. They enjoy each other's company, but it's nice to sleep in a little bit."

Fort Dodge had to travel to Carroll for district speech on Feb. 25. Of the 58 events that performed at districts, Fort Dodge had 40 competitors earn a Division I rating to advance to state.

The categories at state include: Public Address, Spontaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, Radio News Announcing, Reviewing, After Dinner Speaking, Expository Address, Acting, Improvisation, Storytelling, Interpretive Prose, Interpretive Poetry, Literary Program and Musical Theater.

There will be nearly 60 volunteers helping with the competition as well.

Fort Dodge had a successful Large Group Speech season, earning 10 Division I ratings at state and advancing three groups to All-State. Krug is hoping for a repeat in individual competition.

"I am happy any time kids can get an all-state nomination," she said. "That's just the icing on the cake. The most we've gotten in one year in individual competition is eight. It would be nice to break that record, but I just want the kids to feel they've put in their best work. If they are happy, I am happy."

St. Edmond High School will also have three events performing at state at Senior High.

Saturday's competition starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Admission is just $3 at the door. Krug asks anyone coming for the competition to park in the east parking lot.

"We've had good feedback from our contest in the past," Krug said. "People that come are very grateful for our work and enjoy coming here."

Krug said the FD Booster Club will have its concession stand open for the event and Kona Ice will also be available.

Krug wanted to remind those attending that despite being a competition, it's expected that attendees will keep noise to a minimum for the benefit of the performers.

"We try to keep it as quiet as possible in the hallways," she said. "We don't want the kids performing to be disturbed by outside noises. We want judges to be able to focus on the performances and not what's going on in the hallways."

Krug said attendees can come and go from the building for their one admission price. She said all of the performance rooms will be on the main floor of the high school.

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