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SSHS Literary Criticism Team Wins Regional Championship, 5 Wildcat Academic UIL Competitors Advance To State

6 Students Selected As Finalists In Barbara Jordan, Latino History Essay Contests

A dozen members of the Sulphur Springs High School Wildcat UIL Team placed at the regional competition over the weekend, including five students who scored high enough to advance them to the state UIL contest. Five SSHS writers were among the 12 finalists announced in the Barbara Jordan Historical Essay competition and Latino History Essay Competition, according to Gerald Grafton, SSHS UIL coordinator.

Essay Contests

UIL Academics sponsors two essay competitions, the Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition and the Latino History Essay Competition, which provide opportunities for students to explore the contributions of historically underrepresented groups to the history and culture of Texas. With a focus on original research and the use of primary sources, students are encouraged to look to their own communities for topics for their essays. After hundreds of essays were read and scored, UIL released the names of 12 finalists in each event for the 2020-2201 school year this past week.

This year, six essays from SSHS were honored. One student placed in both contests. In the Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition, Harley Archer, Paige Daniel and Emily Dick were named as finalists. In the Latino History Essay Competition, Archer, Padraig Flanary, and Alexis Villarino were named as finalists.

“Congratulations to each of our finalists,” Grafton said.

UIL Academics Regional Competition

The SSHS UIL Academic Team finishing 4th place overall at the Regional UIL Competition held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16-17. The SSHS team earned a total of 117 points. The Highland Park team finished first overall at the regional contest, amassing 229 points, Lovejoy finished second with141 points, and Hallsville third with 131 points.

In all, 5 students are advancing to state in 4 events and two students are alternates. Matthew Harper had a big weekend, qualifying for state in three events.

“Congratulations to all the students who qualified and competed at the regional competition and good luck to those advancing to state,” Grafton said.

The SSHS Literary Criticism Team consisting of Matthew Harper, Shelby Ray, Kendall Little and Dawson Carpenter were regional champions and will advance to the State Academic UIL Competition on May 1. The Literary Criticism team is coached by Gail Herman. Matthew Harper won first place honors, Shelby Ray second and Kendall Little third in literary criticism; Dawson Carpenter also competed and contributed to the team and school’s overall points.

The SSHS Journalism Team, coached by Gail Herman and Madison Millsap, finished second to Joshua High School by only 1 point. Harper won first place honors in headline writing and second place honors in copy editing, qualifying him for state in both of those events as well. Carpenter placed fifth in editorial writing and his fourth place finish in the spelling and vocabulary contest make him an alternate for state in that event. Rounding out the journalism teach is Lexi McCoy, whose fourth place finish in the new writing also make the student a state alternate.

Alfredo Renteria’s third place win in social studies advances him to state as well. Zoe Westlund also was recognized for placing fifth at region in ready writing.

SSHS Wildcat UIL Academic Team logo

Author: Faith Huffman

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