By Jim Orr
The Courier 

Scotties Holter Fourth, Hansen Eighth At State

Jamba, Nelson, Overby Make It To Speech & Drama Semifinals


For The Courier

Scottie Mariah Holter enjoys the moment after learning she advanced to the final round at the State Class B Speech and Drama Tournament.

Scottie S&D did the Nation proud at State – with some flair.

Mariah Holter placed fourth in pantomime and Andrea Hansen eighth in extemporaneous speaking to lead GHS last weekend during the State B/C Speech & Drama Tournament in Ennis.

A trio of Scotties also advanced to the semifinals: Ethan Jamba in serious oral interpretation, Amy Nelson in original oratory and Rachel Overby in humorous solo.

Coach Matt Bacon soaked it in and reflected. He said his team is strong, talented.

"It was my first year as coach," he told The Courier. "I wouldn't call it a shock, but just the opportunity to to work with those kids was a special experience. They're special to work with, and it counters the long season and long days as coach."

The Scotties practiced as usual going into State. Bacon said the coaches were careful not to overwork the Scotties in their drama and speech routines. Too much practice, he said, can lead to looking for unnecessary changes and tinkering with what works.

"It went very well at State," he said. "The competition there was really really stiff. It definitely showed that these were the best kids in the state."

Nelson showed she belonged on the big stage, Bacon said. That's whose name he mentioned when asked about any Scottie surprises at Ennis.

"Amy Nelson going all the way to the semifinals ... I wouldn't say it's a surprise, but it was a surprise for her," he said. "Original oratory is very tough.

"This is her first year in speech and drama. She's going to be back next year, and we're super excited about that. We have a really strong junior class with Ethan Jamba, Amber Omara, Andy Brandt, Amy Nelson, Morgan Miller, Max Knodel and Mariah Holter. Those are all juniors, and as far as I know they're all coming back next year. We should have a strong group of seniors next year."

As for himself, Bacon said he "he has a huge list" of plans to implement in 2015-16 that he compiled during his rookie season at the helm. Bacon, who teaches history and U.S. government to GHS juniors and seniors, will focus on emphasizing the team concept and recruiting younger students to the program.

Scottie Notes

• GHS Principal Shawnda Zahara-Harris accompanied the Scotties to State, which the team "really appreciated," Bacon said.

• Also representing GHS at State were Felicity Soper and Maria Morris in serious duo and Morgan Miller in humorous oral interpretation.


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