Loyola Speech and Debate Dynasty rolls on, goes for 35th consecu - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Loyola Speech and Debate Dynasty rolls on, goes for 35th consecutive state title

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When you look up the term dynasty in the dictionary, the Loyola High School speech and debate should be in there. Starting in 1984, the Rams have won the Class B-C state title ever since. Saturday, the team goes for their 35th consecutive title. 

“It’s been really interesting and fun to be a part of this legacy and tradition. It’s just kind of a fun thing to be a part of, and I know I’m going to carry it with me for the rest of my life.” Nicholson says.

That legacy started with AP US History teacher Matt Stergios. 

“I just wanted to win one. And then one became, two, and two became five, and then suddenly we said ‘hey, the state record is 13.’ And we just kept taking it one year at a time, and that’s the way we have always approached it.” says Stergios.

Loyola become a powerhouse, but with a powerhouse, comes pressure.

“We don’t want to be the senior class that loses the state title, the streak.” laughs Whitney Hansberry.

“If we were to miss, to not win state, it would be devastating for some folks.” says senior Audrey Pettit. 

But I wouldn’t bet against them. The team is relentless in their preparation for the unique topics that will be thrown their way. 

And you don’t win 34 years in a row with dedication to the craft. 50 kids… nearly a fifth of the entire school are on the team. 

“Yes, I would say that we are dominant because we have strong skills. But mostly it’s because I think we are so invested in it. It’s not just a side activity here for anyone, it’s something that they care about.” says Pettit.

And this is their big weekend. The one they have been working towards.

“The most intense, yet, nerdy, fun weekend ever.” jokes Nicholson.

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