Teachers Kim Hemphill, Natalie Frerich and Tessa Otten were bubbling with enthusiasm. Ms. Hemphill and Ms. Otten are UIL coaches, and Natalie Frerich is the UIL coordinator. In less than two hours they’d be heading off to Regional UIL competition with the six students who won first place in the District version of UIL (University Interscholastic League).
At District, their sixteen competitors had bested students from Caldwell, Navasota, Giddings and LaGrange in Prose, Ready Writing, Editorial Writing, Headline Writing, Informative Writing and Social Studies. The big surprise, according to Natalie Frerich, was when Cristina Harvey placed first in two events, Literary Criticism and Informative Speaking. “In 24 years, we only had one kid who placed in Literary Criticism. He came in fourth,” said Ms. Frerich, emphasizing just how big a deal Christina Harvey’s first place win was.
Ms. Otten, who had coached Christina, described the Informative Speaking competition as “pretty intense.” She said students were allowed to take a note card into the room where the students perform before the UIL judges. Christina was so confident, Ms. Otten recalls, she tossed her card aside and went into the room without it.
But the three teachers also sang the praises of the other students who excelled in District. There was Bradley Boatright, who took a sixth in Poetry along with his first in Headline Writing. Brooklyn Hemphill won Prose Interpretation, Jose Huerta came in first in Social Studies, Claire Seidel in Ready Writing and Hailey Sherrill in Editorial Writing.
“We meet once a week all year,” said Ms. Otten. “We met during Thanksgiving break, and Christmas break, and Easter weekend. So the kids are really committed. And they’re putting themselves out their when they compete. It’s not easy to be judged.”
Results from the UIL District Meet
Journalism and Social Studies each took 1st place team
2nd place teams went to Literary Criticism and Speech
Bradley Boatright – 1st in headline writing, 6th in Poetry
Christina Harvey- 1st in Literary Criticism, 1st in Informative Speaking
Brooklyn Hemphill – 1st in Prose Interp.
Jose Huerta – 1st in Social Studies
Claire Seidel – 1st in Ready Writing
Hailey Sherrill – 1st in editorial writing
Karina Caudillo – 2nd in editorial and 4th in News writing
Marilla Dial – 2nd in Informative Speaking
Brandon Lippert – 2nd in Headline writing, 3rd in Poetry
Colton Clements – 3rd in Social studies
Brylee Johnson 4th in LD Debate, alternate to region
Dakota Moberg – 4th in editorial writing, 5th in News writing
Netanya McKeown – 5th in Informative speaking
Ada NaiL – 5th LD Debate
Emily Matura – 6th place News writing, 2nd place Prose Interp.
Sage McAdams – 7th in mathematics
Peyton Slepekis – 7th in social studies
Regional Qualifiers include:
Bradley Boatright, Karina Caudillo, Colton Clements, Marilla Dial, Christina Harvey, Brooklyn Hemphill, Jose Huerta, Brylee Johnson, Brandon Lippert, Emily Matura, Netanya McKeown, Dakota Moberg, Claire Seidel, Blaine Sherrill, Hailey Sherrill, and Peyton Slepekis.