The Speech and Debate teams at Loyola Sacred Heart High School in Missoula continue to set records by winning their 35th straight State Class B/C championship over the weekend in Huntley Project.

Former head coach and now assistant Matt Stergios said the win was no cakewalk.

“Bigfork brought a really good team and we’ve been battling them all year long,” said Stergios,” They came with 25 strong competitors and they scored 132 points at state. Our kids responded really well, and we scored a total of 180 points, our smallest margin of victory in 25 years. I give Bigfork a lot of credit, they’re a great team.”

Stergios said the winning streak has gone on since the 1980’s.

“Our first state championship was in 1984, and we just won our 35 consecutive championship on Saturday,” he said. “It’s been over a third of a century of consecutive state championships.”

Stergios said the tournament was neck and neck up to a crucial point.

“It was our policy debaters, I think,” he said. “Bigfork’s policy debaters really showed up this year and they were really good. Luckily for us, they didn’t make it out of the quarterfinal round, and our defending state champions did it again, and that opened up a gap that was the key that gave us a little breathing room, and I have to say my speech section really came through. Last year we had six kids in the final round, and this year we got 13 into the final round.”

In the speech category, Loyola scored 56 points last year, and this year scored 121.

The streak is the longest confirmed stretch of championships for any high school activity in the country.

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