UIL students win big at first competition of the year

Xavier Martinez, Co-Editor, Graphic Designer

The Porter High School Academic UIL teams traveled to Lindale, Texas on Saturday, November 6th to compete at their first invitational. With students competing in Calculator Applications, Science, Social Studies, Speech and Debate, Journalism, Spelling, Ready Writing, Mathematics, and Number Sense. Many students attended won medals in various competitions including dramatic and prose interpretation, debate, and math. 

I think most students are excited about the chance to compete for the first time, or the first time in more than six months. We have many new coaches this year and new opportunities with classes such as journalism and debate,” Speech and Debate coach Justin Levy said. “Due to the introduction of these classes, the returning coaches’ dedication, and the new coaches’ enthusiasm, we are doing a great job preparing for most events.  It’s important to keep in mind though that this will be quite a large tournament, and one at the beginning of the season, so our goal is growing the program, and improving on whatever we do at this first tournament, which I’m sure we will.”

Students have the opportunity from freshmen year to senior year, to compete in these categories going from Invitationals to District then State. 

“To prepare I make sure I’m all studied up, if my competition requires preparation then I do copious amounts of research and practice because, like everyone else, I like to win,” Sophia Simmons said. “It will allow me to be prepared. For example, on November 9th I wrote legislation that I’m very proud of and confident in. I always want to make sure that I’ve had enough practice to effectively question my opponents.”

This year, UIL is more competitive. Students are pushing themselves to compete at a higher level than normal, and it has proven successful for these students. The speech and debate teams brought home medals for many of the UIL competitions. 

For many students, in other categories, this was their first time attending any UIL event or participating in academic competitions. Even though no awards were won, the students learned a lot from competing and the feedback they received from the judges. The next UIL competition will be in January 2022, and students feel they will be better prepared for the next one.

“I feel as if though this competition really showed us what UIL expects from us. I’m sure that the Journalism team and I are going to practice how to write a proper essay that is expected and learn new skills to help us be better prepared for future competitions,” Samantha Cerda said. “I feel as if this is not just something my team, but all of the teams need to do because we for sure have some tuff competition, and as long as we keep working and studying we will come up on top.”


Speech and Debate UIL team at Lyndale HS meet Nov. 6. (Photo by Xavier Martinez)
Here is a list of all medalists:
  • Rebecca Jackson, 1st Dramatic Interpretation
  • Rebecca Jackson, 1st Prose Interpretation
  • Sirena Ortega, 2nd Dramatic Interpretation
  • Sirena Ortega, 4th Novice Congress
  • Coral Newsome, 3rd Novice Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Emily Serrano-Pineda, 4th Novice Oral Interpretation
  • Bella Graham, 5th Novice Oral Interpretation
  • Carmen Condarco, 6th Math (10th-grade division)
Team Awards:
2nd Place Sweepstakes Speech & Debate
2nd Place Math (Big Schools)
PHS UIL Academic students at Lyndale HS UIL meet Nov. 6. (Photo by Xavier)
Newspaper students compete at Lyndale HS in Journalism UIL. (Photo by Newspaper sponsor, Ms. Key)