After receiving three bronze medals at the Regional Academic UIL Meet earlier this month, three Yantis High School students advanced to the State Academic UIL Championships held at the University of Texas in Austin on May 19-21, where they made school history.
This year marked only the second time Yantis High School has ever concurrently taken two journalism competitors to the state meet, and the third time three individual Yantis High School students have qualified for state.
Qualifying for the state championships is an outstanding achievement, and it is the ultimate goal of all UIL competitors to attend the state meet. Thousands of students across Texas compete at the district and regional level, but only 12 from each event make it to the state championships.
Junior Josey Wetzel won third place honors in headline writing at state. Wetzel is the first person from Yantis High School to place in the headline writing competition in seven years.
“This was my first year to advance to regionals, so I didn't really expect to advance to state or even place in the top three at state. It was a great experience, and I'm truly blessed to have had the opportunity to compete at state,” Wetzel said. “Working on previous state meet papers all year really helped me prepare for state. Hopefully, I'll get the chance to return next year.”
Sophomore Taylor Hathcoat competed in and earned 10th place in editorial writing. Hathcoat was the first person from Yantis High School to compete in the editorial writing competition at the state meet in four years.
“This was my first year to compete in UIL, and I made it all the way to state. I've had a great time this year, but I couldn't have done it without Mr. [Chip] Mathews' persistent coaching. He helped me believe in myself even when I thought I couldn't do it,” Hathcoat said. “Even though I didn't get a medal this year, with a little more work and a lot of time I know that I can next year.”
Junior Katlin Davis placed fifth in poetry interpretation. She was the first person from YHS to qualify in this contest for the state meet in 15 years, and she was also the first person from the school to ever place in the poetry interpretation contest at the state championships.
“It was a great feeling being at the state level after being told we may never make it past district,” poetry interpretation coach Wendy Stinson said. “We didn't let that stop us. Katlin is the epitome of perseverance, and I am so proud and blessed to have been able to coach her. I cannot wait to see what she brings to the table next year.”
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