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JHS Speech and Drama Team wins at district competition

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The Jackson High School Speech and Drama Team recently won the district championship in Ste. Genevieve, with many members of the team set to compete during the state competition in April.

The Jackson team competed in Ste. Genevieve on March 17-18, going against 22 other area schools. After three elimination rounds, Jackson emerged as the highest achieving team and won the district’s sweepstakes championship.

Puma Saysanan won the district championship in informative speaking, Kelby Brandenburgh and Eli Clubbs won the district championship in duo interpretation, Kate Petzoldt and Preston Strothmann won the district championship in duet acting, Lucas Bonnegent won the district championship in domestic extemporaneous speaking and Ethan Robbins won the district championship in international extemporaneous speaking.

All district champions will move on to the state competition. In addition, Robbins will also compete at state in the original oratory event. He received second place in original oratory at the district competition.

Eli Clubbs won second place in storytelling; Riley Ries won fourth place in poetry reading; Nelson Mc-Guire won fourth place in dramatic interpretation; and Amadeo Hinkebein won fourth place in prose reading.

Jackson’s reader’s theater production of “My Father’s Dragon” won first place and will advance to the state competition. The cast includes Sadie Middleton, Rebekah Mansfield, Evie Heinley, Preston Strothmann, Nelson McGuire, Shandi Rogers, Trey Lintner, Amadeo Hinkebein, Genevieve Williams and Kelsi Dillingham. The play is stage managed by Cade Gregory and Alec Schwartz.

Jackson’s one act play, “Relative Strangers,” won second place at the district competition. The cast included Riley Ries, Bailey O’Neal and Alivia Roach. The play was stage managed by Kirby Gilmore and Caylee Collins.

Three performers were chosen from among all the plays by the judges to be on the district’s all-star cast. Preston Strothmann from “My Father’s Dragon” and Alivia Roach from “Relative Strangers” were selected to the all-star cast.

The Jackson team is coached by Bobby Clubbs, Taylor Taylor and Cassie Miller.

The MSHSAA State Speech, Debate and Theater competition will be held in Springfield April 19-22.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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