Minneota speech team members advancing to state are: (left to right) Sean Dilley, Jacob Haen, Brenden Kimpe and Cecilia Rabaey.

Rewarding week

It was a rewarding, but busy week for Brenden Kimpe. Kimpe earned a spot in the State Speech Meet after placing first in Extemporaneous Speaking at the Section 3A meet Thursday in Tracy.

“We didn’t get back to Minneota until 12:30 a.m.,” said Speech Coach Kim Gades. “And then Brenden had to leave by 7 a.m. (Friday) with the FFA team for its meet in Brookings.”

Not only did Kimpe make it to the Regional FFA meet, he also was a member of the four-person General Livestock team that placed third that advanced to the State FFA meet.

“It was a busy week,” Kimpe remarked. “I only got about five hours of sleep before I had to go on the van to Brookings. It wasn’t so bad, though.”

The section speech meet was originally scheduled for Saturday at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, but was moved back to Thursday in order to beat the snowstorm that moved into the area this weekend.

Kimpe was one of four Minneota students to qualify for the state speech meet and the only one to place first. The State Speech meet will be held Saturday, April 21 at Apple Valley High School.

Jacob Haen was second in Humorous Interpretation, Sean Dilley second in Informative Speaking, and Cecilia Rabaey third in Creative Expression. All four of the Minneota state qualifiers are sophomores.

The top three in each category advance to state from eight different sections. Kimpe and Dilley competed at state last year in the same categories that they chose this year. The top six in each category advanced to the section finals and received medals.

Those advancing to the finals from Minneota were: Cole Bot, fourth in Prose; Zoe DeBoer, fourth in Storytelling; Rachel Engels, fifth in Informative Speaking; Cora Engels, fifth in Extemporaneous Reading; Trevor Belaen, sixth in Discussion; Natalie Bot and Tara Thooft, sixth in Duo Interpretation; and Sarah Engels, sixth in Great Speeches.

“Brenden has been in Extemporaneous Speaking for three years now,” said Gades.

“Not many go into this category because of the amount of work involved in researching various topics.”

When competing in Extemporaneous Speaking, a competitor consumes as much as he or she can without having any knowledge of what questions will be asked. Kimpe uses current events as his topic.

“I can chose between international or U.S. current events and I chose U.S.,” Kimpe noted. “There are three rounds with a different question in each round. After picking a question out of a hat, we have one-half hour to write a speech.”

“The maximum the speech can be is seven minutes. I usually like to have mine be about six and a half minutes.” Kimpe’s first-round question pertained to climate change, the second-round question was about politics, and the third-round question was about health care.

Kimpe qualified for the final and had to pick another question.

“The finals question I had was whether I felt Donald Trump would be successful in his second year in office,” Kimpe told. Unlike other categories, a competitor in Extemporaneous Speaking can’t write a speech ahead of time.

And that’s what piqued Kimpe’s interest.

“I decided to choose Extemporaneous Speaking because I like writing my own speeches and I really like researching different things,” he said. “I’ll continue to research the rest of this week now to get ready for state.”

Haen’s speech was entitled “Bible Camp, the Musical”. “It’s a challenging role that we had to chop down from 45 minutes to 10 minutes,” said Gades.

“It was a team effort.” Haen’s speech is about six kids at camp that put on a musical based on Bible stories. The speech is filled with actions, facial expressions and various voices.

Dilley’s Informative Speaking topic is entitled “Do You Feel Me?”, a piece he researched and wrote that is based on the process of itching.

“He tells what makes us itch and what warning signs they might be,” Gades explained.

“He explains things like if we are stung by a mosquito, how the bite sends a message to the brain, which then tells our fingers to itch the area where we are stung.”

Dilley also utilizes a lighted storyboard to show the different parts of his speech.

Rabaey’s topic was entitled “From a Distance,” with her messages reflecting on how cell phones changed our culture.

“It’s a very interesting topic,” Gades remarked. “It’s about things like texting and driving and she delivers a very relevant message for the time we live in.”

The Minneota speech team has made impressive strides in the recent years and has revived the program.

“I really want to thank the three seniors — Cora Engels, Sarah Engels and Cole Bot — for the great job they did this season,” said Gades.

“I really appreciate the effort they’ve put in their speech careers.”

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