Speech, Journalism Rock UIL District Academics

district uil april 1 and 2

The Timber Creek UIL Academic team was very successful over the weekend of April 1 and 2, with competitions going on for current issues and events, spelling and vocabulary, social studies, journalism, speech and debate.

The speech event began on Friday. The team had to be at school 6:45 in the morning to board a bus that arrived at a tiny church near Denton Guyer. They remained there from 7:30 in the morning to 5:30 at night. Friday consisted of the individual speech events and debate while Saturday was for UIL teams. When the event finally got started around nine in the morning, there were about 4 or 5 sections that day, with 6 people in each section. Once divided up, someone will draw a topic from the proctor, the person who is in charge of the event, and then is thirty minutes available for practice. This is when the students prepare their speeches and practice them with the tools they have available to them.

Emily Gogle, a senior at Timber Creek, was involved in the speech events. She only spoke twice that day which included preliminary round and the final round. Her events were poetic interpretation, and informative and extemporaneous speaking. She won herself fourth place out of eighteen students in informative speaking, which makes her an alternate for regionals.

Gogle was nervous about one girl from a different school, someone who she worried might have the same poem as she did, but after a while she tells me that “as the day goes on, you realize that these are just people having good or bad days, and it doesn’t matter what school they’re from.” Every other school didn’t feel like competitors, they were friends to her.

When I asked her how she amused herself during the wait, she said,

“You’d think that we’d bring a lot of entertaining things, but…you develop such a close bond to the people around you and the people on your team that you don’t need much to entertain yourself.”

Gogle explains that Friday was one of the best events to end her speech career. She tells me that she doesn’t “have any regrets.”

At the end of the day, she was proud of all the work she did. Gogle is leaving Timber Creek to do bigger and better things and this includes speech.

“I really love doing speeches and I love communicating with people…I want to continue giving speeches.”

Speech did amazing overall as they were rewarded with second place. Congratulations also to James Miller who won second in informative speaking,  Addison Davis who won fifth in persuasive speaking and Emily Mclntosh who won fifth in poetry.

Journalism was also involved in UIL on Saturday, when they went to Denton Guyer to compete in journalism writing events. They arrived at Timber Creek around eight in the morning and drove to Denton Guyer 45 minutes later, and then waited for their events until 11 a.m. They went over everything that they needed for their events such as, tips for leads, quotes, transitions and everything that they do in Talon.

Brelee McClelland, Talon Editor-in-Chief, said that once the events got started at 11 a.m., they went through the competitions quickly. The events went from news to feature writing, then to editorial and lastly headline writing. Everyone on the team was done around the same time, and soon had all their results in hand.

McClelland was entered in feature, editorial and headline writing. She has also competed in this same competition last year, and she was the only one who returned to do it again. Not only has she returned for every event, but she has medaled at every event during the 2015-16 season, which is an amazing feat. This is shown through her placing second and advancing in Editorial Writing, which means she is going to regionals.

“I was happy with everyone on the team. We’ve done pretty well at the pre-district tournaments and the tournaments that we’ve been to before and we’ve done really well. And I’m so proud of Destiny for moving on, for qualifying…even Ashton who got sixth at feature,” McClelland said. “It’s something to be proud of, that you placed and that you did well in a competition with people that are doing the same thing that we are doing [at Timber Creek].”

McClelland said the event was nerve racking. She says that all the competitors come a bit early before the event begins. They sit at the computers and wait, which is the hardest part. McClelland has a strategy to calm herself down; she types out the alphabet until the event starts. The judges then come in and read out the rules and hand out the sheets of paper that include the information needed to write the story. McClelland will notice when others start typing and this makes her panic.

“We kinda just go in, hoping for the best for us, and I try not to worry about what they’re doing because that’s when you psych yourself out and that’s when you get in a bad mood.” She tells me that having the Talon gives her an advantage because the reporters are used to the hard and fast deadlines, so the hour time limit doesn’t faze her. McClelland soon gets into her own groove and forgets the others around her.

McClelland enjoyed the experience overall.

“I know it seems really tedious and boring to be there for so long and not do anything, but I think it’s a lot of fun because in the morning, you’re getting this happy nervous energy because you’re so excited to go and see if you can get a medal because, you get to wear those at graduation and you get to show that off and so that’s really cool. You want that for yourself,” said McClelland.

Not only that, but she likes that she can discuss her writing with others doing the same as her. Once the competition is over, everyone gets together to talk about what quotes they used and what they did and didn’t like about the experience.

The Timber Creek Journalism team did very well in overall placing, winning second place. Congratulations also to Ashton Yeatts who won sixth place in feature writing and news writing.

See the full list of Timber Creek UIL Academic Team results below:

Congratulations to the UIL Academic Team for placing 3rd overall in the District meet, Saturday, April 1, 20126 in Denton.

The following teams and students placed:

1st Place Current Issues and Events
1st Place Spelling and Vocabulary
1st Place Social Studies
2nd Place Journalism
2nd Place Speech Team

The following students placed individually or as a team.  *Denotes advancing to the Regional meet in Arlington on April 23.

*Bo Hiett-1st place team and 1st Current Issues and Events and 3rd Persuasive Speaking
*James Miller-1st place team and 4th Current Issues and Events and 2nd Informative Speaking
*Tony Annerino-1st place and 3rd Current Issues and Events
*Jacob Tate-1st place team Current Issues and Events
*Christina Mai-3rd Literary Criticism
*Brelee McClelland-2nd Editorial Writing and 5th Feature Writing
*Destiny Holdman-3rd Feature Writing
*Rylee Jones-3rd Prose
*Neftali Ortiz 1st place team and 3rd Spelling and Vocabulary
*Hoyeon Kim 1st place team and 5th Spelling and Vocabulary
*Cayden Akins 1st place team Spelling and Vocabulary
*Tyler Martin-1st place team and 4th Social Studies
*Alyssa Slayden-1st place team and 5th Social Studies
*Brandon Well-1st place team
*Kaleb Barnard-1st place team
Emily Ghizzoni-5th Computer Applications
Bryce Sheets-6th Computer Applications
Derek Flint-5th Computer Science
Ashton Yeatts-6th Feature Writing and News Writing
Emily Gogle-4th Informative Speaking
Alexis Allen-Quarter finalist LD Debate
Aisha Manjai-Quarter finalist LD Debate
Addison Davis-5th Persuasive Speaking
Emily McIntosh-5th Poetry
Alyssa Slayden-5th Ready Writing

Written by 

Madison Butler is a senior at Timber Creek High School. She has been involved in the Talon for 4 years. She is the Multi-Media Manager for Talon, TCTV, TCFM, TCSN, and Yearbook.