North Hopkins captures 16th UIL district title

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

April 6, 2008 - North Hopkins High School captured its 16th straight district academic University Interscholastic League championship last week, earning a total of 463 points. Yantis High came in second with 318 points, followed by Avery with 191 points, McCleod with 158, Bowie 124, Cumby 63, Detroit 58 and Union Hill 53.

The school took top team honors in six categories and second place honor in two team contests. Their One Act Play Cast also got top marks and advanced to the area contest.

North Hopkins was especially successful in cross examination and debate, editorial writing, computer science, persuasive speaking, poetry interpretation, Lincoln Douglas debate and informative speaking. In each of those categories, North Hopkins had at least three students place in the top six.

The computer science team not only earned first place team honors, but also had four students place in the event, the only four places listed in district standings. Roger Sancho lead the top team, taking first individually, followed by Steven Simmons in second, Robert White in third and Julia Tamsma in fourth. Tamsma also placed fifth in computer applications and Kadee Melton place third in the category.

North Hopkins took the top three spots in editorial writing, one of the journalism events which ultimately garnered an overall first place team ranking. Individually, Tana Hall placed first, Tori Huffman second and Jackie Gold third in editorial writing. In feature writing, Laiken Gammill earned top honors while Pablo Olguin was recognized for finishing fourth. Viginia Thomas, another member of the journalism team, finished third in headline writing while Cayla Newkirk took third and Cristian Calixto fifth in news writing. Thomas also earned second in ready writing and fourth in spelling and vocabulary.

The NHHS speech team also earned first place team honors. Several individuals contributed to that honor. Tana Hall earned first and Jackie Gold second in informative speaking, and Joy Johnson was also recognized for placing sixth in the category. The locked the competition out of the top three slots in persuasive speaking and poetry interpretation as well. Liz Shaw, Robert White and Jessica Harry finished first through third, respectively, in persuasive speaking. A.J. Aguilar took top honors, Heather Vicars second and Courtney Loper third in poetry interpretation. Ashley Newman also also honored for finishing third in prose interpretation.

The cross examination debate teams captured three of top four team titles. The first ranked c-x debaters were Angelina Ugalde and Robert White. Cayla Newkirk and Roger Sancho took second place team honors in c-x debate and the duo of Jackie Gold and Julia Tamsma were fourth.

Jessica Harry, Liz Shaw and Joy Johnson were stand outs in Lincoln Douglas debate, earning first through third place respectively.

Although only one student, Blair Bassham, finished it the top six individually in current issues competition, the school still earned first place team honors due to the contributions of the entire team -- which also included Danelle Jones and Madison Martel. Blair earned fifth in the category.

Similarly, A.J. Aguilar was the only NHHS student recognized for being in the top six in literary criticism, fourth, the team still earned second place team honors thanks to points awarded each team member. Also contributing to the team honor were Rebecca Dixon and David Holder.

The second place number sense team consisted of Virginia Thomas, Roger Sancho, Kadee Melton and Tanna Hall. Thomas earned third individually in the category.

Also recognized for earning second place honors in accounting was Brandi Loper, who like the other students earning first through third place in their categories and the top teams competing at the March 26 Conference 1A District 20 Academic UIL meet at NHHS, will advance to the regional UIL competition to be held April 11-12 at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

The NHHS One Act Play team was also one of two teams to be ranked first in district competition, held March 27 at Paris Junior College. The student's performance of "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" was good enough to advance to the Area competition to be held April 4 at Trinity Valley College in Athens. Chastin Smiddy was named All Star Cast while Blair Bassham, Chrissy Halland Tana Hall all were named honorable mention cast. Bowie High also took top honors in One Act Play, outscoring NHHS 44 points to 30.

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