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Sinton FFA student heads to national competition

Blake Koether ranks 16th in the nation
Posted at 10:22 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 23:22:33-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Sinton High School junior is heading to nationals after ranking top 16 in the U.S. for extemporaneous speaking.

“I was like ‘Wow I’m going to Indianapolis’ and I couldn’t wait to represent Texas on the national stage,” 15-year-old Blake Koether said.

A national stage that will be the first for Sinton High School FFA and Koether.

So, what exactly is extemporaneous speaking?

“They give us twelve topics to choose from and I have the ability to flip over three,” Koether said. “Of those three I choose one and I have no idea what these topics are going to be.”

He has 30 minutes to prepare a four to six minute speech and then answer five minutes worth of questions from judges.

“Blake has to be able to think on a whim,” Koether’s ag teacher, Cheryl Handy, said. “He has to be able to think off of the top of his head, so throwing different topics at him and giving him things to research.”

She said it comes natural to the 15-year-old.

“There’s no training Blake,” Handy said. “Blake can talk about anything and everything that you throw at him.”

His friends agreed.

“Blake is 100 miles per hour 24/7 about any topic,” junior Anne Decker said.

Don’t argue with him because you’re not going to win,” junior Shane Baylor said. “He will make sure he wins.”

Koether won state in July.

“Headed to nationals for a competition hasn’t been seen and so it’s really neat and a really awesome opportunity,” Handy said.

The last week in October, he hopes to bring back the national title to Sinton.

“I’d like to run for area office next year and then next year run for state office,” Koether said.