29 students advance to regional UIL competition


ATTENTION GETTER Wokring their way through a practice math test, yearbook advisor Cortney Wood and Peter Anongdeth, 10, prepare for Peter’s contest on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023. Photo by Sydney Hawkins, 11

After students competed in the district UIL academic meet on Saturday, March 25, 29 students advanced to regionals and took home the gold.

The regional competition will be Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22, at Prosper High School in Ponder.

“We prepared for four months,” first-place speech team contestant sophomore Logal Mitchell said. “We practice once a week, and we went over every little thing.”

This is the third year the Rangers have won district UIL, and UIL coordinator Melody Smiley said she has been the coordinator for the last four years.

“It was awesome finding out students from our campus win first place” Smiley said. “The event took place at Boswell High-school”

Sophomore Holden Cespedes said he didn’t think he would place in his competition, but he took home first place in persuasive speaking.

“UIL speech was really fun because a lot of the people you met are really cool,” Cespedes said. “It’s odd seeing people who are used to it and then just coming in not knowing what’s going on but then still somehow coming out on top It felt like an underdog story.”

Computer Applications coach Colby Sias and journalism coach Cortney Wood are first-year teachers on the trail, and this is their first year as coaches for UIL.

“I actually competed in UIL when I was in high school, so I already had a feel for what competition was like” Wood said. “We did not practice as much as we probably should have, I think the reason we did so well is that we put so much work into the yearbook and newspaper that we are already practicing from day one.

These students will compete at regionals, and if they advance to state, they will head to the University of Texas at Austin in May to compete against the top competitors in the nation.

For more information on UIL, click here.

Regional UIL Events:

  • Cody Sias: Computer Application, Science
  • Lance Clevland: Accounting
  • Cortney Wood: News, Feature, Editorial, Headline, Copy Editing
  • Jonah Hanft: Informative Debate, Persuasive Speaking, Math, Spelling
  • Melody Smiley: Number Sense