UIL Coordinator and debate coach Rory McKenzie helping Robert McWhorter prepare for district. McWhorter competed in policy debate.
UIL Coordinator and debate coach Rory McKenzie helping Robert McWhorter prepare for district. McWhorter competed in policy debate.
Kaylee Rodriquez

Lindale High School wins district UIL meet

Kaylee Rodriquez
Bailey Spencer and Emma-Grace Cox go over journalism material for the meet. Spencer earned 2nd place in news writing and Cox was awarded 5th in feature writing.

On March 21, students from all across East Texas competed in the district UIL tournament held at Lindale High School. Lindale won first place in the tournament with 512 points and 21 students advanced to regionals.

“With the high school district championship, we have won UIL district at every level from 6th grade up,” UIL coordinator and debate coach Rory McKenzie said. “That was a goal of Mr. Surratt’s at the beginning of the year and I’m excited to have met it. But it just means there’s more work to do.”

Students and sponsors have put in several hours a week since the beginning of the year to prepare for their events. Some teams began practicing before the school year even started. The speech team, who won first place and advanced to regionals, has been preparing all year.

“We start preparation [for district] in the summer before the next school year,” speech and debate sponsor JP Fugler said. “Those competing in prose and poetry begin the search for new literature as early as May of the preceding year. Debaters attend camps during the summer break to hone their skills for the upcoming season of competition. Our first tournament is the first weekend of school, so preparation for district is a year-long process.”

Four other teams are advancing to regionals. The journalism team placed first and had at least one student advance in every single event.

“Mrs. Morrow continues to do work in a tough district and reinforces the legacy that our journalism team has,” McKenzie said. “Her kids -including some freshmen- were just incredible.”

The computer applications team swept the competition. Kelsi Jones won 1st, Skylore Evans won 2nd, and Tyler Meador won 3rd and the team will advance to regionals as a whole. The computer science team will also advance with Tyler Russell placing 2nd, Meador placing 3rd, Evans placing 4th, and Andrew Baggett placing 6th.

“I think my students will do a great job at regionals,” computer science and computer applications sponsor Amanda English said. “It’s a huge accomplishment just to make it to regionals. The competition will be tough, and they are prepared to perform at the top of their abilities.”

The literary criticism team advanced to regionals on a wild card, meaning they were fourth place at district with the next highest amount of points in the region. Sponsored by English teacher Penny Snow, Samantha Rodden won 2nd and Ashley Ray won 3rd.

“I think there is a myriad of great benefits to participating in UIL,” Ray said. “I think that most importantly it teaches taking initiative and a good work ethic independent of how well a student performs in their event. I believe that being involved with UIL can help guide people find out interest and talents that they may have never suspected that they had before.”

Lindale will compete at regionals on April 7th and 8th. Any student who places 3rd and higher will have a guaranteed spot at the state meet.

“I have to feel pretty good going into region,” McKenzie said. “We have hardworking students and sponsors also we are in a good position.  It’s all about what happens on the day of competition though and anything can happen.”

Kaylee Rodriquez
The spelling team takes a practice quiz in preparation for the district meet. The team is sponsored by English 3 teacher Kristin Quarles.
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