UIL prospers in first competition

Story by Caroline May, design editor

The UIL academic team competed on Jan. 9-10 at Pine Tree High School for their first meet practice of the season. The team had students place in the categories of journalism, speaking events, ready writing and social studies.

The journalism division, coached by Journalism adviser Rebecca Potter, placed in the subjects of editorial writing, feature writing and headline writing. Sophomore Anna Cannon received fourth place in editorial writing and second in feature writing. Senior Morgan Williams received fifth place in feature writing and third in headline writing, and sophomore Raga Justin received fourth place in headline writing.

“It was my first time doing editorial writing at UIL,” Cannon said. “I have done ready writing before, but never editorial. Editorial much more cut and dry than ready writing and more like something for a newspaper. I didn’t think I would do as well as I did because I got pretty sassy with some of the stuff I wrote.”

In the speaking events category, coached by Amy Kemp, three students placed in three different categories. Senior Robert Hoover was awarded second place in informative speaking, and freshman Caleb Snow placed second in debate. In the division of poetry interpretation, senior Catherine Thomas was awarded fourth.

“I competed in debate, and I felt it went great,” Snow said. “We debated on human rights and state sovereignty about what you believe in and what side you take. It was a good experience. I enjoyed it because you learn a lot. You fail some, but other times you succeed, and that’s what helps you in life.”

Two students, senior Haley Rogers and sophomore Jillian Cheney, placed in the ready writing category coached by English teacher Holly Mooneyham. Second place was given to Rogers, and Cheney was awarded fourth.

“I have competed for three years, since my sophomore year,” Rogers said. “I have competed in ready writing and social studies. They are almost one in the same. I think that the social studies gives me more of a team mentality. In ready writing, I improve every year. Every year I learn something, and the more I write, the better I get at it. The most rewarding part of any of it really isn’t necessarily the competing, but the way that you bond with all the other people who are in UIL.”

Seniors Matthew Crawford and Morgan Williams prepare for their respective competitions at the UIL Practice meet held at Pine Tree High School in Longview, TX.
Photo by Savannah Pritchard
Seniors Matthew Crawford and Morgan Williams prepare for their respective competitions at the UIL Practice meet held at Pine Tree High School in Longview, TX.

In the social studies category, coached by History teacher Chuck Zach, not only did individuals place, but the team as a whole was awarded first. Junior Alex Markham placed first in the division, and Rogers placed second. Freshman Jay Williamson and junior Madison Maynard also competed with Markham and Rogers in the team.

“I was very happy with the fact that Alex and Haley both finished first and second overall individually,” Zach said. “I’m really happy with the improvement of kids like Jay Williamson, Madison Maynard, and Rachel Lewis who got into this late and who are working really hard to catch up. I think it’s a big confidence booster for the team as a whole to win. Now they know that they are on the right track for district.”


Journalism – Coached by Rebecca Potter

Editorial Writing:

Anna Cannon                      4th Place

Feature Writing:

Anna Cannon                      2nd Place

Morgan Williams                  5th Place

Headline Writing:

Morgan Williams                  3rd Place

Raga Justin                          4th Place


Speaking Events – Coached by Amy Kemp

Informative Speaking:

Robert Hoover                      2nd Place

LD Debate:

Caleb Snow                          2nd Place

Poetry Interpretation:

Catherine Thomas               4th Place


Ready Writing – Coached by Holly Mooneyham

Haley Rogers                        2nd Place

Jillian Cheney                      4th Place


Social Studies – Coached by Chuck Zach

Alex Markham                      1st Place

Haley Rogers                        2nd Place

FIRST Place Team: Alex Markham, Haley Rogers, Madison Maynard, Jay Williamson