MHS Speech Team History
The Marshall Speech Team has a storied history of accomplishment. Since the 1970"s MHS Speech has earned its place as one of the most successful Speech programs in Minnesota. TWENTY-FOUR MHS students have earned MSHSL State Championship medals -- the fourth most in state history.
Mike Tillmann was the first coach of the MHS Speech Team from 1972-1979. His guidance and expertise grew the program into a top-notch team. From there, the team was led by legendary coach, Carol Purrington. Mrs. Purrington led the team to great heights in the 1990's, coached 14 State Speech Champions, and was named "Minnesota Speech Coach of the Year" in 1996. No coach in the history of Section 2AA has coached more students to the State Tournament than Mrs. Purrington.
In 2010, MHS Speech received both state and national recognition. That year, MHS Speech won the Section 2AA Team Championship and Eric Deutz was crowned State Champion in Creative Expression. And in 2010 and 2011, the team was ranked among the top 10% of Speech Teams nationwide. The team record of qualifiying an impressive 13 students for state in a single year, set in 2010, was reached again in 2012. The 2012 team also set a team record by being the first team ever in MHS Speech history to be ranked in the top 5% of Speech Teams nationwide.
In 2011, senior captain Courtney Otto and in 2012, senior captain Eric Deutz were named National Forensic League All-Americans. To receive this honor, Courntey and Eric had to earn over 750 NFL speaking points in their careers, maintain a 3.7 or higher GPA, and score a 27 or higher on their ACT test. Courtney was the first from MHS Speech to ever receive this honor and Eric was the second!
Today, the team has grown to over 65 team members coached by a highly-qualified staff of assistant coaches and supported by a spirited Booster Club of dedicated parents!
24 State Speech Champions from MHS!
1976 – kristin olson, extemp reading
1979 – john reimler, serious poetry
1979 – lois quam, discussion
1980 – john reimler, serious poetry
1980 – barb curry, extemp reading
1980 – kelly peterson, drama
1985 – rich brewers, discussion
1988 – brian cole, storytelling
1988 – sara ridley, original oratory
1989 – jeff douma, humorous
1991 – terry warnke, creative expression
1992 – rick purrington, humorous
1993 – greg douma, serious poetry
1993 – mike wagner, extemporaneous speaking
1994 – greg douma and emily otto, dramatic duo
1995 – nicole schmugge
1998 – meghan harney, discussion
1998 – krista poplau, extemporaneous reading
1998 – lindsay anderson, informative speaking
2000 – jacob swanson, great speeches
2003 – ashley frerich, discussion
2005 – angela tate, great speeches
2010 – eric deutz, creative expression