Academic athletes from Smith and Wheat Middle Schools were among the hundreds to compete in the Quad County Zone 1 and Zone 2 UIL A+ Academics Meets.
Wheat hosted the Zone 1 contest involving students from Burleson-Hughes, Burleson-Kerr, Brewer, Aledo, Weatherford-Tison and Granbury Middle Schools. Smith competitors traveled to Stephenville Middle School along with teams from Everman, Joshua-Loflin, Joshua-Nichols, Weatherford-Hall and Granbury-Acton.
This was the second year for Wheat seventh grader Trevor Stinnett to compete in UIL Academics. As a sixth grader he participated in the Art Smart event, and this year chose to compete in Listening Skills and Dictionary Skills.
“I think I’m going to be more competitive in Listening Skills,” he said. “They read us a story, we take notes, then answer questions. I may not be the best at it, but I think I’m okay.”
Stinnett said he liked the research involved in the Dictionary Skills event.
“They give us a packet of information, with questions we need to answer using the dictionary,” he said. “I like using my research skills.”
Billy Jack Rose was among the Wheat sixth graders choosing to “play up” in competing in the seventh grade division of the academic contest. The 11-year-old signed up for the science event.
“I don’t know much about the event, but I know I’ll be taking a test,” he said. “Science is a good subject. I like it and I think I’ll do good on the test, although I’m kind of nervous. My teacher told our class about the competition and I thought I would just enter.”
“I’ll want to see how I do before I decide if I want to enter next year,” he said. “If I do, I think I will try math.”
Robert Mayes, a teacher at Smith Middle School, has been a coach in UIL Academics writing events for a number of years.
“I think participating in UIL Academics adds a layer of excitement and competition that relates to the things our students do at school every day,” Mayes said. “It takes it to another level. Plus, they get to be on a team, or can compete individually. “
“It’s exciting and rewarding to see our students compete at UIL, to see them get a medal or ribbon,” he said. “Many of our students began competing as sixth graders and have continued to participate through to the eighth grade. You can see how they’ve developed in their skills. I can guarantee that a lot of these students will continue with UIL Academics when they get to high school.”
The top competitors from Smith, by event, included: Dictionary Skills, 7th grade-Nova Hess, sixth place; 8th grade-Gloria Cepeda, fourth place; Listening Skills, 7th grade-Erin Febinger, fifth place; Modern Oratory, 8th grade-Megan Baadsgaard, fifth place; Ready Writing, 7th grade-Parker Pritchard, second place; 8th grade-Audrey McClure, fifth place; Science, 7th grade-Ali Bounds, first place, Kennan Rigoulot, second place, Parker Pritchard, fourth place; 8th grade-Nadia Owen, sixth place; Social Studies, 7th grade-Jaret Piety, sixth place; 8th grade Ashleigh Hightower, fourth place, Dylan Witte, sixth place; Chess Puzzles, 7th grade-Julius Guzman, second place; 8th grade-Matthew Limon, fourth place.
In the Zone 1 A+ Academics Meet, Wheat award winners included: Spelling, 7th grade-Ryan Hart, fourth place; Chess Puzzles 8th grade-Colton Kimbell, fourth place; Oral Reading, 7th grade-Madilyn Munn, sixth place; Ready Writing, 7th grade-Reese Easley, fourth place; Calculator Applications, 7th grade-Kyra Baker, fourth place; 8th grade-Andrew Tucker, sixth place.
Wheat Middle School seventh grade academic athlete Kyra Baker puts in a little practice time while she awaits the start of the Calculator Applications event at the Quad County Zone I UIL A+ Academics Meet held at her campus. Baker placed fourth in her event at the competition which involved students from seven middle schools.
Top medalists at the Quad County Zone 2 UIL A+ Academics Meet included Smith Middle School’s Julius Guzman, Kennan Rigoulot, Ali Bounds and Parker Pritchard. Forty Smith academic athletes competed in the annual contest, which was held at Stephenville Middle School. (Courtesy Photo)