Academic UIL begins

Students place at invitational meets


Sophomore Brooke Smith, junior Jaycie Holley and sophomore Adelyn Harvey prepare for UIL prose/poetry

Iryna Hotsuliak, Reporter

Preparing to compete in district, students are attending UIL Invitational meets. Invitational meet A was held at home on Jan. 14, meanwhile the Holliday meet B was held on Feb. 4. in Holliday. The school placed third out of 12 schools participating at meet A and fourth out of 14 schools at meet B.
“I know we had some kids that couldn’t come,” UIL coordinator Leslie Graham said. “But I thought that everybody who came worked hard, and I was glad to see them.”
At UIL invitational meets students and coaches have an opportunity to experience how the actual competition will be happening.
“At invitational meets, there are much bigger schools,” Graham said. “Some of the schools we compete against are the ones from our district. So those things I would expect to be about the same.”
Some of the UIL participants and their coaches practice for their events during class periods, PrimeTime and after school.
“So, there’s not one set time as to when everybody’s practicing,” Graham said. “Mostly it is coordinating with those coaches.”
Prose and poetry coach Becky Nogle practices with her students during her off periods.
“It’s nice that Mrs. Nogle works with us during her free time,” prose competitor senior Kesley Aultman said. “She times us, helps us write introductions and gives us commentary she thinks the judges would critique the readers on.”
Graham also checks if the school has enough people to compete and if all participants are entered.

Till February, I am going to try to see if we can get some more people involved”

— UIL coordinator Leslie Graham

Senior Gunner Smith has been the part of the current events team for three years.
“I love current events,” Gunner Smith said. “For practice we take virtual tests and research by reading newspapers and online news articles.”
Junior and exchange student from Thailand Chenahrath Peeratanyanonth is participaing in UIL for the first time this year. She competes in number sense and math.
“The difference in language and math topics makes UIL more challenging for me,” Peeratanyanonth said. “But I would like to get top six in at least one of my events.”
Sophomore Brooke Smith is a UIL poetry team member. She said she could definitely tell everyone else was more prepared than her at the first invitational meet, but she did better than she expected.
“I just got my piece that I was reading the day before,” Smith said. “So I’ve just been trying to focus on certain parts and memorizing them to help me prepare.”
Graham said the school has a history of succeeding and coaches are the same people who have coached UIL events the last several years.
“We see the value in the UIL academics,” Graham said. “So we try to encourage kids to participate and do those things.”