Newspaper Students Become 6A Champions


The newspaper staff advanced to Regionals after becoming Division champions.

Xander Christou, Staff Writer

Newspaper students participated in the journalism events at the Academic UIL Districts meet at Hays High School on March 28. Seven students competed, and five of those advanced to Regionals.

“I think that we went in without putting a whole lot of pressure on ourselves,” newspaper adviser Jena Weber said. “I think we, unfortunately, went in with low expectations, but that ended up helping us in the end. Everybody went in not too nervous, and they kicked butt.”

Students competed in all of the journalism competitions available, which varied from news writing to copy editing to headline writing. For most of the students, it was their first time competing.

“It was really new to me considering that I’ve never been to UIL before,” freshman Denisse Vargas said. “I didn’t feel that much pressure, but it was interesting to see how all the other kids prepared for it. I got second place in news writing, so I think it went pretty well.”

While it was a competition against other schools, UIL gave students the opportunity to learn more through practicing and receiving feedback.

“It taught me a lot about what readers look for in a story, and what’s considered a good news story,” Vargas said. “I learned a lot about what information should be in a news story, and it taught me a lot about the skills that I can apply in the class for our own newspaper.”

The news staff took home first place as the District 25 6A Team Journalism Champion with 91 points total, beating out Westlake, in second place with 53 points.

“It was really rewarding to see, just because we beat bigger schools like Westlake and even Lake Travis and Del Valle, and to know that we’re the ones that continuously kept placing really high,” senior editor-in-chief Tatiana Brown-Gomez said. “It’s very rewarding to see that our doing multiple news stories at a time helps with the writing.”

Students like junior Willa Roberts placed in their competitions and received medals of recognition.

“I got fifth place in feature and second place in editorial,” Roberts said. “It was very exciting to go and be able to compete but I was also kind of nervous in the room with everyone. It taught me how to stay calm in high-pressure situations.”

Those who placed first, second or third will automatically advance to regionals, which will take place at UT San Antonio.

“We’re going to go in just the same way we did for Districts,” Weber said. “Don’t psych ourselves out, go in knowing the skills that we already have. The kids will try their hardest; we’ll win some, and lose some.”