Sulphur Springs High School came in third overall at the District University Interscholastic League Academic Meet held Saturday in Hallsville. Seventeen students scored high enough to advance to the regional contest and had five teams recognized.
“Our kids did an outstanding job. They’ve been working very hard, and many of them achieved their highest scores of the year at the district meet. Hallsville took first place with Pine Tree in second. ... In any other district, we would be taking many more to the regional meet. I firmly believe that many of the winners from our district will be State winners,” said Gina Wilder, SSHS UIL coordinator.
One student, Zach Mahand, advanced from district to region in two categories, ready writing and spelling/vocabulary. Mahand took top honors in ready writing and second place honors in spelling and vocabulary. Whitney Hu placed in three journalism events, and Katy Mason and Cole Cable placed in two events too. Hu advances to region with a second in feature writing, and was recognized for placing fourth in news writing and sixth in editorial writing. Mason advances to region with a first place finish in headline writing, and was recognized for placing fourth in literary criticism. Cable took fourth in current events and sixth in persuasive speaking.
In addition to Mahand, the first-ranked district spelling and vocabulary team also consisted of Sarah Fox, Lyndsi Bible and Kelsey Brown. Individually, Fox placed third and advanced in spelling vocabulary, and Bible was recognized for placing fourth.
Cable’s contribution along with those of teammates Taylor Moore, Rosalynn Karstens and Victor Gonzalez helped the current events team win the tie breaker and take first place team honors, which advances them to the state meet.
Also taking first place honors in his category, Accounting, at district was Ryan Clark. Jace Orren also advances to region in Accounting due to his third place win at district, and Miguel Sanchez was recognized for finishing fourth at district. Clark, Orren and Sanchez’s wins coupled with teammate Ayanna Smith participation put the SSHS accounting team in first place overall at district, which means the team advances to region as well.
Other students advancing to region for their individual wins include Emily Mason, second in ready writing; Courtney Anderson, third in computer applications; and Connor McCorkle, third in computer science.
Two teams were lauded for placing second overall at district, the computer science team consisting of Connor McCorkle, Taylor Ausbrooks, Autumn Keiss and Jeff Spears; and the literary criticism team made up of Katy Mason, Colby Carter, Cooper Welch and Jessica Cowley.
Other SSHS students recognized for placing fifth at district included Taylor Moore, Informative speaking; Morgan Lutz, prose; and Garrett Gray, ready writing. Sixth-place finishers also included Jessica Cowley in computer applications and Autumn Keiss in news writing.
SSHS’s One Act Play cast and crew also did well at their district meet in Hallsville. They along with Pine Tree were selected to advance to the Area One-Act Play Contest to be held Saturday, April 11, at Whitehouse High School.
Blaine Surber and Brandon Fain were both named to the Honorable Mention All-Star Cast, and Brittney Woolley and Cole Cable were named to the All-Star Cast. Morgan Lutz, stage manager, received the tech award for Sulphur Springs.
SSHS theater instructor Dawn Doyle directed the student’s production of “Scenes from Alice in Wonderland,” a play created by the Manhattan Project.
The cast includes Brittney Woolley, Cole Cable, Josh Bain, Jake Moreland, Kelsey Brown, Cooper Welch, Cody Morgan, Kristin Ramsey, Slaine Surber, Brandon Fain, Tiffany Stenger, Parey Draper, Caleb Brown, Travis Hicks and Anna Longino. The crew consists of Morgan Luta, Stephen Kramer, Jessica Cowley and Cassie Long. Alternates are Alissa Welch, Skyler Sinclair, Cecily Adams and Ashlyn Landers.
“They have worked so very hard and it shows. The play is excellent. The critic judge offered some suggestions on improving it further and I'm excited to see it are the area competition. I would encourage everyone to make the trip to Whitehouse to support our play. The will be glad they made the drive!” said Wilder following the district win.
The SSHS drama department is offering the public a chance to catch their act before the Area contest. They will be performing Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center for the public, according to Doyle.
They will next perform in Whitehouse Saturday. Sulphur Springs is third after Pine Tree who takes the stage at 1:30 p.m., Nacogdoches at 2:30 p.m. SSHS performs at 3:30 p.m. and Lindale will follow after that. The two top acts at area will then advance to the regional meet.
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