The Waukee speech team saw multiple groups earn division one ratings at the district large group contest on Jan. 26 in Perry.

The Waukee team advanced 19 groups the state contest, while Waukee 9 advanced 11 groups.

“Both Waukee and Waukee 9 had a great showing at district speech contest,” Speech Coach Jackie Pleggenkuhle said. “Perry hosts a great contest. Mrs. Bollhoefer, volunteer teachers, parents, and administration work together to make the day run smoothly and welcome all of their guests.”

The contest was pushed back twice because of weather concerns, though Pleggenkuhle said “in speech season, we always just roll with the weather punches and adapt.”

“When postponed, it’s like we’re all dressed up with no where to go, but that’s okay,” she added, as much of the state was in the same situation.

As a coaching staff, Pleggenkuhle said they enjoyed seeing the students take on leadership roles within their own groups.

“We even have upperclassmen ‘adopt a freshman’ and be a support person and cheerleader for the newest members of our team,” she said. “Those are the things not seen in the ratings posted at the end of the day but are certainly part of our Waukee Speech Team culture.”

Pleggenkuhle is looking forward to seeing the Waukee and area students compete on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Valley High School.

We are all looking forward to seeing all of the events at State Contest. It’s a great place to learn about performance and even brainstorm for future contest seasons,” she said.

After the district contest wrapped up on Jan. 26, the team turned its attention to working on their pieces before traveling to the state contest on Saturday.

“Hopefully the weather will allow us to keep some scheduled rehearsals this week so we can reflect on judges’ comments and polish for state this weekend at WDM Valley,” Pleggenkuhle said. “If weather is as brutal as predicted and we lose rehearsal time, we aren’t any worse off than other teams around the state. This is Iowa, and the show goes on.”