Students Compete at UIL Regional Congress

Kevin Willis, Staff Writer

The UIL Regional Congress meet was held Tuesday at Stephen F. Austin University. Because each school can only send three students, Lindale sent senior Haley Bass as well as juniors Zachary Jones and Joshua Smith. 

“We get a docket about the list of topics about a month before the competition and at that point students start preparing speeches for one or both sides,” Rory McKenzie, speech and debate teacher, said. “The more that they have prepared the easier it is to go into the competition.”

Jones took home the title of Regional Champion. This guarantees him a spot at the UIL state meet. 

“Getting regional champion felt amazing,” Jones said. “It shows my huge improvement from last year, and I’m hoping I can keep that energy going into the state meet in January.”

Last regional meet, Smith was an alternate, but this year he earned himself a third place spot. This ensures him, along with Jones, a spot at the State meet. 

“Going from being alternate and not even competing at region last year to qualifying [for State] is an incredibly exciting feeling,” Smith said. “Not only does it show that all of the hard work that I am putting into debate is paying off, but it gives me so much motivation to keep growing.”

Many students met to debate the merits of an abundance of proposed pieces of legislation giving a variety of both pro and con speeches for the documents. Competitors were ranked on their delivery and speaking ability in many speeches throughout the several hour-long sessions.

“Congress is a super unique event,” Bass said. “It’s a lot different from what I usually do, but I always love to try new things and push myself outside of my comfort zone.”