News & Notes

SPHS speakers first at Sibley East; second at Medford
Kurt Hildebrandt

It was another successful two-week stretch for the Saint Pete High School Speech team, which took home top team honors at the Sibley East Invitational on March 10 and second at Medford Invitational on March 3.

The Saint Speech team with the first-place trophy 
after the Sibley East meet.

The Saints’ Nora Leonard took home first-place honors at both meets in Poetry as did the SPHS tandem of Isaac Peterson and Sophia Lee in Duo. Lauren Mayer placed first in Drama at Medford and second in the same category at Sibley East, while Josh Ellerbeck placed first in Humorous at Sibley East and second at Medford.

The following are the results from the SPHS Speech team’s meets at Medford and Sibley East:

Team standings (top 5 of 13) - 1. St. Peter 141; 2. Jordan 106; 3. Windom ARea 99; 4. Norwood-Young America (44); 5. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 36.
(Saints placewinners)
Creative Expression - 1. Penelope Panciera; 2. Mikinley Prafke; 6. Amelia Hildebrandt.
Drama - 2. Lauren Mayer.
Duo - 1. Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee; Breeley Ruble & Megan Beran.
Extemporaneous Reading - 2. Morgaine Miller.
Extemporaneous Speaking - 1. Konrad Wernsing.
Great Speeches - 3. Aubry Landsom.
Discussion - 3. Sarah Busse.
Humorous - 1. Josh Ellerbeck.
Informative - 1. Eleanor Grinnell; 4. Rose Prins.
Original Oratory - 4. Vanessa Krueger; 6. Nils Berglund.
Poetry - 1. Nora Leonard; 5. Sky Gassman.
Prose - 4. Anders Taylor.
Storytelling - 6. McKenzie McCann; finalist - Liliana Hughes.

Team standings (top 5) - 1. Winona Cotter 127; 2. St. Peter 99; 3. Mankato Loyola 52; 4. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 25; 5. Medford 24.
(Saints placewinners)
Creative Expression - 3. Mikinley Prafke; 5. Penelope Panciera.
Drama - 1. Lauren Mayer
Duo - 1. Sophia Lee & Isaac Peterson; 2. Josiah Johnson & Mara Johnson.
Extemporaneous Reading - 6. Megan Beran.
Extemporaneous Speaking - 2. Rafat Solaiman; 4. Konrad Wernsing.
Great Speeches - 1. Sammi Hofferbert; 6. Aubry Landsom.
Humorous - 2. Josh Ellerbeck.
Informative - 4. Eleanor Grinnell.
Poetry - 1. Nora Leonard; 2. Sky Gassman; 3. Sumeya Ali; 4. Sarah Fadness.
Prose - 6. Anders Taylor.
Storytelling - 4. Mckenzie McCann.

To follow the progress of the SPHS Speech team during the season go to for complete results.


SPHS Band & Choirs presented 'Superior' ratings at Large Group Contests
Kurt Hildebrandt

The St. Peter High School Concert Choir, Saints Chorale and Concert Band were awarded superior ratings at their respective recent Large Group Contest music contests. The Choir contest was held in the Le Sueur High School Auditorium and the Band contest was hosted by Jordan High School.

The performance ensembles each performed 2 selections and were evaluated by three adjudicators in nine different areas. The points from each area are totaled to give the group a fair, good, excellent or superior rating. Two out of the adjudicators must give the ensemble a superior rating for them to earn a superior rating.

Concert Choir performed “Abendlied” by Josef Rheinberger, and “Battle of Jericho” by Moses Hogan. Saints Chorale performed “Gloria in excelsis Deo” by Joseph Haydn, and “Erev Shel Shoshanim” by Jack Klebanow. The choirs were consistently ranked high, on tone quality, intonation, rhythm, diction and other performance factors including appearance, conduct, poise and expression. They were directed by Scott Hermanson

This year the band, directed by Dave Haugh, earned three superior ratings performing “Procession at Bayham Old Abbey” by David Bobrowitz and “Havendance” by David Holsinger.

Saints’ speakers continue early season success with strong showings in ‘Kato
Kurt Hildebrandt

SPHS speech team wins West meet, places fourth at East

Saint Peter High School’s Speech team continued to build on its early season success by winning the recent Mankato West Scarlet Invitational and placing fourth at the Mankato East Speech Fiesta.

The SPHS Speech team celebrates after placing first
at Mankato West meet on Feb. 17.

The Saints’ varsity team received first-place finishes at Mankato West from Nora Leonard (Poetry), Rafat Solaiman (Extemporaneous Speaking) and Josh Ellerbeck (Humorous) along with second-place performances from Bryana Harroun (Creative Expression) and Vanessa Krueger (Original Oratory).

Nora Leonard (Poetry) and Solaiman (Extemporaneous Speaking) took top honors once again in their respective categories the following Saturday at Mankato East while Sammi Hofferbert (Great Speeches) joined them with a first-place finish as well. Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee (Duo) earned a second-place finish.

The following are the results from the SPHS Speech team’s meets at East and West:

Team standings
(top 5) - 1. Fairmont 108; 2. Northfield 82; 3. Mankato Loyola 80; 4. St. Peter 73; 5. Mankato West 45.
Saints placewinners
1. Nora Leonard (Poetry); Rafat Solaiman (Extemporaneous Speaking); Sammi Hofferbert (Great Speeches).
2. Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee (Duo)
4. Lauren Mayer (Drama)
5. Kendra Lindquist Ove & Will Tauer (Duo); Mikinley Prafke (Creative Expression).
6. Aubry Landsom (Great Speeches); Josh Ellerbeck (Humorous); Josiah Johnson & Mara Johnson (Duo).

Team standings
(top 5) - 1. St. Peter 135; 2. Mankato West 89; 3. Mankato Loyola 66; 4. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 56; 5. Mankato East 37.
Saints placewinners
1. Josh Ellerbeck (Humorous); Nora Leonard (Poetry); Rafat Solaiman (Extemporaneous Speaking.
2. Bryana Harroun (Creative Expression); Vanessa Krueger (Original Oratory)
3. Aubry Landsom (Great Speeches), Eleanor Grinnell (Informative); Josiah Johnson & Mara Johnson (Duo); Lauren Mayer (Drama); McKenzie McCann (Storytelling)
4. Anders Taylor (Prose); Lilie Sund (Storytelling); Maddie Doose (Humorous); Penelope Panciera (Creative Expression); Sarah Busse (Discussion); Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee (Duo);
5. Kendra Lindquist Ove & Will Tauer (Duo); Sammi Hofferbert (Great Speeches); Shelby Beaudoin (Prose).
6. Konrad Wernsing (Extemporaneous Speaking); Morgaine Miller (Extemporaneous Reading); Servanda Alcantra (Humorous); Torin Harbo (Creative Expression).


To follow the progress of the SPHS Speech team during the season go to for complete results.

Saints' Speech team opens 2018 season in impressive fashion
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School’s Speech team had a strong showing at the Mankato Loyola Crusader Classic this past Saturday with a second-place finish. That followed a fourth-place finish at Worthingon the previous weekend with a partial squad.

At Loyola, Saint Peter amassed 84 team points to take runner-up honors behind champion Fairmont which finished with 147 points. Rounding out the top five were Mankato West and Loyola in a tie for third with 54 points, followed by Mankato East with 29.

Eleanor Grinnell (Informative Speaking) and Rafat Solaiman (Extemporaneous Speaking) earned first-place finishes for the Saints at the Crusader Classic, while Mikinley Prafke (Creative Expression) and Sammi Hofferbert (Great Speeches) earned second-place medals.

Other placewinners included -- third place - Aubrey Landsom (Great Speeches) and Lauren Mayer (Drama); fourth place - McKenzie McCann (Storytelling) and Nora Leonard (Poetry); fifth place - Josh Ellerbeck (Humorous) and Morgaine Miller (Extemporaneous Reading); and sixth place - David Marlow & Eleanor Kennedy (Duo) and Penelope Panciera (Creative Expression).

Shorthanded Saints open season placing fourth at Worthington

An abbreviated SPHS Speech team opened the 2018 season at Worthington on Saturday, Feb. 3, and came home with six individual medals as well as a fourth-place finish in the team standings. Many of the Saints varsity members were involved in the Section 2A One-Act Play Contest that day and weren’t able to join their teammates in Worthington.

Nonetheless, the Saints earned 50 team points to place fourth in the team standings. Host Worthington won the meet with 96 points followed by Murray County Central 82, Minneota 52, the Saints, and Luverne 48.

Morgaine Miller (Extemptoraneous Reading) took home the Saints’ lone first place finish while Josh Ellerbeck (Humorous) and McKenzie McCann (Storytelling) placed second in their respective categories.

Other SPHS placewinners included: third - Rafat Solaiman (Extemporaneous Speaking); fourth - Mikinley Prafke (Creative); and fifth Aubry Landsom (Great Speeches).  

To follow the results of the Saints’ Speech team during the 2018 season please go to