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Journalism wins first state title

Paige Ourada, Copy Editor

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“You just won the first state in Skutt Catholic journalism history!” This quote from Mr. Elliott will remain in the minds of 18 Skutt Catholic students for the rest of their lives.

On April 27, Skutt Catholic’s journalism staff hopped on a bus at 5:30 am and set off for Norfolk, Neb. where they would be competing for the Class B state title in Journalism. Most staff members did not even know state journalism was even a thing when Mr. Elliott brought it up earlier in the semester. “I thought state competitions were just for sports, to be honest,” said sophomore Kayley Anderson.

Once Mr. Elliott hyped everyone up, it was time to get to to work. Layouts were submitted, headlines were chosen, and then they waited. The state qualifiers were announced and Skutt Catholic was tied for first in amount of entries with Sandy Creek.

Then, it was go time. Qualifiers set up times to practice their events outside of class. Up to an hour or two, these rehearsals helped the competitors perfect their crafts. These seemed trivial at the time, but the staff says they can attest their success to those practices. “My first newspaper layout in practice was–according to Mr. Elliott–a ‘dumpster fire’. Practicing more and more really helped and even landed me a fourth place medal at state,” says senior Luke Pavel.

As the bus rolled up to Northeast Community College’s Lifelong Learning Center, the nerves set in. “There were so many people there; I thought we were doomed, especially since we had never been to state before,” says senior Suzanne Onkka. The clock struck nine, and the first event began. Laptops were opened and fingers were shaking as the timer started. 45 minutes later, the clicking of keys stopped. Time was up.

Events ended around 1:30, but awards were not until 3:00. Most spent time wandering around the building or catching up with friends from other schools. Around 2:45, people began to file into the results room, anxiously gazing at the silver awards podium. The came the fateful news: results were being postponed until 3:30. Then 4:00. Then finally, at 4:30 pm, awards began.

Around seven or eight categories had been announced when the emcee said, “These are all the results we have right now, so if you could please be patient with us, we’ll have more in a moment.” Results came in spurts and people were getting restless. “If they hadn’t brought us free pizza, people would have gone insane,” said senior Michaela Farley.

At last it was down to the state title results. Omaha Marian was awarded the Class A title, which did not come as a shock to most. The moment was finally here: the Class B announcement. The Skutt Catholic staff clenched each other’s hands as Sandy Creek was given the runner-up trophy. At this moment, they knew they had it. As their state championship was announced, high-pitched screams filled the room and the trophy was posed with more times than one could count. “It was an unreal feeling,” said sophomore Maddie Jarosik. “All of our hard work had finally paid off.”

The bus ride home blasted “Fergalicious”, and Hannah Klemme and Evan Meduna flawlessly rapped Childish Gambino. Mr. Elliott gave a heartfelt speech, meanwhile Gabby Giesler was passed out in her seat, probably dreaming about making her dogs their own state medals. It was an eventful day to say the least, one that they staff will remember forever.