Arts and Activities News and Notes

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Kurt Hildebrandt

Twelve of 25 co-curricular programs to move up a class for next two school years

Saint Peter High School co-curricular programs will see quite a few changes from a postseason perspective over the next two school years (2019-20 and 2020-21) as the Saints will move up a class in several activities.

Over the past eight years, Saint Peter has always been one of the larger schools in the respective classes it has competed in, but even larger than normal class sizes with this year’s 10th and 11th grade have pushed the Saints above the threshold in 12 of the 25 activities sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League.

“We had a pretty good idea we would be moving up in several activities ahead of time, so the news isn’t a surprise,” SPHS Activities Director Jordan Paula said. “While it would have been great to remain the same, but this will be a great opportunity to compete against some new and some familiar opponents.

“The good news is larger class sizes means larger enrollments, which is good for our school district,” Paula added.

Schools are placed in respective sections based upon their adjusted enrollment number, which counts actual enrollment for grades 9-12 and then adjusts that number based up on the percentage of students who are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program. Saint Peter’s adjusted enrollment went up from 502 before the previous reclassification to 593 this time around. The enrollment cutoffs varies by each sport, for instance, Saint Peter’s boys tennis team will remain in Class A, while the girls tennis team will move up to Class AA.

Those activities where the Saints will remain in the same classification and section includes: swimming & diving, girls gymnastics, boys soccer, girls soccer, boys tennis, choir, band, volleyball, wrestling, boys and girls golf, and boys and girls hockey.

There may be some minor changes geographically with the sections the Saints will compete in, as far as which schools are included, but they are basically the same.

The activities which will be bumped up a class starting in the fall of 2019 includes girls tennis, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls track and field, one act play, speech, baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball, and football.

The changes in classification for those activities can also mean some scheduling challenges for Paula.

“Some of our coaches in those sports affected by this were already in contact with me prior to this announcement about trying to get some of those teams in their new section on their schedule,” Paula said. “We’ll try our best to accommodate those changes, but it can be difficult because a lot of schedules have already been set.”

For complete information on the MSHSL’s reclassification go to  

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

State tourney berths on the line in 13 different categories

Trips to the Minnesota State Speech Tournament will be on the line tomorrow (Friday) at Saint Peter High School during the Section 2A Speech Tournament.

The Saints will have 22 entries taking part in the Section 2A event with hopes of advancing to the Minnesota State Class A Speech Tournament, set for Friday, April 13, at Wayzata High School. The top two individuals in each of the 13 categories at the section meet will advance to the state tourney.

Saint Peter, which won the team title at the North Sub-Section meet on March 26, had nine entries at state in 2018, and hope to add to that total. Those Saints have entrants in 12 of the 13 categories at the Section 2A meet.

Doors open at 3:30 p.m. on Friday with first round starting around 3:50 p.m. The awards ceremony will start at around 7:30 p.m. at the SPHS Performing Arts Center.

Admission to the Section 2A Tourney is free. However, please note that food, photographs, and recording speeches are not allowed in any of the rounds. Also, the room manager will open the door in between each speaker, so if a group wants to exit or enter at different times, that is allowed. All visitors must wait until the door is opened by the room manager to enter or exit the room.

Those Saints competing at the Section 2A Speech Tourney includes:

Creative Expression - Mikinley Prafke
Discussion - Hannah Wohlers
Duo - Breeley Ruble & Megan Beran; Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee; and David Marlow & Julie Marlow.
Extemporaneous Reading - Madelyn Tollefson
Extemporaneous Speaking - Nils Berglund, Konrad Wernsing
Great Speeches - Lillie Sund; Fatima Mohamud
Humorous - Josh Ellerbeck; Obet Alcantara
Informative - Milena Lund
Original Oratory - Vanessa Krueger; Eva Kracht
Poetry - Sky Gassman; Aubry Landsom
Prose -  Lauren Mayer; Shelby Beaudoin; Anders Taylor
Storytelling - Mckenzie McCann; Liliana Hughes.

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saints have 22 entries advance to the Section 2A meet on April 5

Saint Peter High School’s speech team took home top honors at the Section 2A, North Sub-Section meet on Tuesday in Janesville behind the strength of 22 Saints’ entries which placed in the top six of their respective categories. Those 22 entries advance to the Section 2A meet on April 5 here at SPHS.

The Saints had 178 team points at the end of the night, well ahead of runner-up Minnesota Valley Lutheran which finished with 100 points.

“I am so proud of what our team has accomplished this year,” Saints coach Erika Gustafson said. “This winter hit us really hard in terms of practices and meets. I'm so appreciative of how dedicated our students are. Even though practices continued to be canceled due to weather, students persisted and made up coaching any way they could.”

Of the 22 Saints’ entries advancing to the Section 2A meet, four of them took home first-place honors, including Mikinley Prafke (Creative Expression), Breeley Ruble and Megan Beran (Duo), Vanessa Krueger (Original Oratory), and Lauren Mayer (Prose). Second-place finishes were earned by Sophia Lee and Isaac Peterson (Duo), Nils Berglund (Extemporaneous Speaking), Lillie Sund (Great Speeches), Josh Ellerbeck (Humorous), Eva Kracht (Original Oratory), and Sky Gassman (Poetry).

“I believe our assistant coaches deserve some recognition for this tough season,” Gustafson said. “The whole of Minnesota was impacted by the cold and snow. Even through rough conditions, my assistant coaches, Alicia Ehleringer, Kaleb Krengel, and Isabel Zwaschka still strove to help our students meet their full potential. I am so thankful of their support and the time they put in at both practices and tournaments. I can also speak for my coaches to say that we are all proud of the unceasing energy and dedication of our students.

“As always, subsections comes with surprises and disappointments. We had four champions in their respective categories and great performances across the board. We were also proud to continue to be the reigning Subsection Champion as a team.  I wish that our whole team had been able to push into sections, but that is not usually the case. Win or lose, Saint Peter competitors did an excellent job at representing their school. Saint Peter students have always held themselves to the highest standards and continue to be professional, energetic, and supportive of teammates. I've had so many coaches, parents, bus drivers, and other community members mention not only the talents of individuals on the team, but also how polite, kind, and helpful they are.

“I have no doubt our team will bring their A game to Sections on April 5th,” Gustafson added. “We encourage you to come watch us at sections in St. Peter.”

The following are the complete SPHS results from the North Sub-Section meet:

Team standings
(top 5 of 11) - 1. ST. PETER 178; 2. MN Valley Lutheran 100; 3. (tie) Waterville-Elysian-Morristown & Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 56; 5. (tie) Medford & Tri-City United 46.

Saints results
Creative Expression - 1. Mikinley Prafke
Discussion - 4. Hannah Wohlers
Duo - 1. Breeley Ruble & Megan Beran; 2. Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee; 6. David Marlow & Julie Marlow.
Extemporaneous Reading - 4. Madelyn Tollefson
Extemporaneous Speaking - 2. Nils Berglund, 3. Konrad Wernsing
Great Speeches - 2. Lillie Sund; 5. Fatima Mohamud
Humorous - 2. Josh Ellerbeck; 4. Obet Alcantara
Informative - 6. Milena Lund
Original Oratory - 1. Vanessa Krueger; 2. Eva Kracht
Poetry - 2. Sky Gassman; 4. Aubry Landsom
Prose - 1. Lauren Mayer; 4. Shelby Beaudoin; 5. Anders Taylor
Storytelling - 1. Mckenzie McCann; 3. Liliana Hughes.


The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

SPHS speech to compete at Section 2A, North Sub-Section meet on March 26

Saint Peter High School’s speech team wound down its regular season with a pair of second-place finishes over the last two weekend. The Saints earned the runner-up spot at meets in New Ulm on March 23 and at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton on March 16.

  The SPHS speech team with their hardware they won
  at the JWP Meet on March 16.

The SPHS orators will participate in the Section 2A, North Sub-Section meet at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton on Tuesday, March 26, for a chance to advance to the Section 2A meet held here at Saint Peter High School on Friday, April 5.

At the New Ulm meet, Vanessa Krueger (Original Oratory) was the lone Saints’ champion while Konrad Wernsing (Extemporaneous Speaking) and Obet Alcantara (Humorous) earned runner-up honors in their respective categories. The Saints were without several key speakers at New Ulm as they were away on the SPHS choir trip to New York City. 

Isaac Peterson and Sophia Lee (Duo) along with Anders Taylor (Prose) earned first-place finishes at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton’s meet while Josh Ellerbeck (Humorous), Aubry Landson (Poetry), and Lauren Mayer earned second-place honors.

Team standings
(top 5) - 1. Fairmont 128; 2. ST. PETER 92; 3. MN Valley Lutheran 70; 4. Jordan 47; 5. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 36.
Saints individual results
Creative Expression - 3. Mikinley Prafke; 4. Torin Harbo
Discussion - 4. Hannah Wohlers
Duo - 5. David Marlow & Julie Marlow
Extemporaneous Speaking - 2. Konrad Wernsing; 5. Nils Berglund
Great Speeches - 4. Lillie Sund
Humorous - 2. Obet Alcantara; 6. Maddie Doose
Original Oratory - 1. Vanessa Krueger
Poetry - 3. Sky Gassman; 6. Sarah Fadness
Prose - 3. Anders Taylor
Storytelling - 5. Mckenzie McCann

Team standings
(top 5) - 1. Fairmont 136; 2. ST. PETER 98; 3. Mankato West 70; 4. Mankato East 48; 5. MN Valley Lutheran 45
Saints individual results
Creative Expression - 6. Mikinley Prafke
Duo - 1. Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee; 4. Breeley Ruble & Megan Beran; 6. David Marlow & Julia
Extemporaneous Speaking - 3. Nils Berglund
Great Speeches - 5. Lillie Sund
Humorous - 2. Josh Ellerbeck; 3. Obet Alcantara
Original Oratory - 3. Eva Kracht
Poetry - 2. Aubry Landsom; 5. Sky Gassman
Prose - 1. Anders Taylor; 2. Lauren Mayer

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

For the second time this season, the Saint Peter High School speech team won the team title at a tournament as the Saints bested the field at the Medford Tiger Tournament on Saturday. The Saints ended up with 123 team points and were led by four individual first-place finishers and four second-place individuals.

Josh Ellerbeck (Humorous Interpretation), Laure Mayer (Prose), Sky Gassman (Poetry), and Isaac Peterson and Sophia Lee (Duo) were the first-place finishers for the Saints, while Aubry Landsom (Poetry), Breeley Ruble and Megan Beran (Duo), Nils Berglund (Extemporaneous Speaking), and Vanessa Krueger (Original Oratory), placed second in their respective categories.

Medford Speech Meet results

Team standings (top 5 of 14): 1. ST. PETER 123; 2. Owatonna 60; 3. Mankato Loyola 49; 4. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 30; 5. (tie) Maple River & Medford 26 each.

Saints individual results:
Creative Express: 3. Mikinley Prafke; 4. Torin Harbo; 5. Bry Harroun
Discussion: 3. Hannah Wohlers
Duo: 1. Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee; 2. Breeley Ruble & Megan Beran
Extemporaneous Reading: 5. Paige Meyer.
Extemporaneous Speaking: 2. Nils Berglund; 4. Konrad Wernsing
Humorous: 1. Josh Ellerbeck; 3. Obet Alcantara; 4. Maddie Doose
Original Oratory: 2. Vanessa Krueger; 4. Eva Kracht
Poetry: 1. Sky Gassman; 2. Aubry Landsom
Prose: 1. Lauren Mayer; 3. Anders Taylor; 4. Shelby Beaudoin
Storytelling: 3. Mckenzie McCann