UIL Academic students competed at Pine Tree High School on Jan. 11 and 12.

UIL is an amazing opportunity for students of all backgrounds to come together and share in their passion and talents,” Buckner said. “No matter who you are or where you come from, there’s a UIL event that you can be successful in. It gives all students the chance to take pride in their hard work and natural talents. I’d recommend everyone at least tries one or two UIL events. It’s a great way to step out of your comfort zone and find like-minded people who you can connect with.”

On Jan. 11, sophomore Macy Watson placed 5th in policy debate competing without her partner. Policy debaters typically compete in pairs. “I was nervous to compete alone, but I’m glad I had that chance,” Watson said.  “I think it helped me learn more all around about my competition and become more c

onfident in my abilities.”

Freshman Carter Wheat placed 5th and senior Allison Buckner placed 2nd in Lincoln Douglas debate. Buckner advanced to finals.

“I feel I did very well, and I placed 5th overall, which I was proud of,¨ Wheat said. “The tournament allowed me to learn more about the topic and what I needed to do in order to strengthen my case.”

Ready Writing, Original Oratory, Extemporaneous Speaking and Journalism events took place on Jan.12.

I feel like the event is a fair demonstration of the progress being made by the UIL teams,” teacher Charles Loe said. “I’m very proud of how far our kiddos have gone.”

Sophomores Alex Brunner, Karla Silva, Yadira Cruz competed in Ready Writing.

“Although I could have done better, I feel like I did okay,” Silva said. “I plan to go to more practices and read more historical facts before the next event to improve my writing.”

Buckner placed 2nd in Original Oratory and 2nd in Persuasive Extemporaneous Speaking.

“I feel like this tournament reminded me of why I love debating and speaking,” Buckner said. “The energy was amazing.”

Freshman Brooklyn Conert placed 6th in Informative Extemporaneous Speaking.

“Outside of policy debate, Extemp is my favorite event because it challenges me to think on my feet,” Conert said. “I really respect all the events that competed this past weekend.”

The last event of the day was Journalism, and junior Ashley Wilkinson placed 3rd in Copy Editing, 3rd in Feature Writing and 2nd in News Writing.

“I don’t think I could’ve done anything differently,” Wilkinson said. “The tournament was different than I was used to, but I did my best to overcome it.”

Callie Lawrence, the UIL coordinator and coach of journalism and debate events, says she is proud of every student’s effort.


I feel like the kids did a fantastic job,” Lawrence said. “As a coach, I am always looking for ways to better these kids for district. They always take the knowledge gained from each meeting to increase their chances for advancing at district.”



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