Journalism Students To Compete in State UIL Competition

Two journalism students will represent Legacy High School at the State UIL competition in Austin on May 6-7.

Sophomores+Abigail+Morris+and+Jonah+Pedroza+placed+first+in+Editorial+Writing+and+News+Writing%2C+respectively.+

Courtesy Photo

Sophomores Abigail Morris and Jonah Pedroza placed first in Editorial Writing and News Writing, respectively.

Nina Banks, Raylee Mallett, Abigail Morris, and Jonah Pedroza competed in journalism events at the Region 1 Academic UIL Meet in Lubbock on April 22. With their combined scores, Legacy won the title of 2022 Region Champions. Pedroza and Morris placed in the top three of their events and advanced to the State Academic UIL Meet. 

On May 6-7, the two sophomores will compete in Austin for News Writing and Editorial Writing. They are the only two students from Legacy High School competing at the state meet. As competitors at a State UIL Meet, they are eligible for TILF scholarships their senior year. 

Since her freshman year, Morris invested time in participating in numerous practice meets to sharpen her skills and discover her overall strength: writing editorial stories. Placing first in both district and region UIL, she now has the chance to win at the state level. 

“I definitely feel an overall sense of relief that I’ve made it this far,” Morris said. “I wasn’t particularly confident at any of the meets, but I still managed to place really well in all of them.”

Morris believes she favors editorial writing because of the logic that goes behind it. Similar to how mathematics requires critical thinking skills to find the solution to an equation, editorial writing uses concise organizational skills to emphasize the writer’s main stance on a subject. 

“A lot of people do not enjoy editorial writing. However, I enjoy it because it follows a distinct pattern,” Morris said. “Specifically with editorials, you are just taking the information given to you and putting it together like a puzzle.”

I like news writing because there’s a formula. You pretty much start the same way. You just have to put the pieces together to make a picture,” Pedroza said. “I think that’s why I have had success because I’m good at just getting the facts in the right spot.”

— Jonah Pedroza, 10

With a love for news writing, Pedroza placed second in district and first in region UIL. As the Sports Editor for The Rider Online, he is familiar with utilizing facts and formulating stories. 

“I like news writing because there’s a formula. You pretty much start the same way. You just have to put the pieces together to make a picture,” Pedroza said. “I think that’s why I have had success because I’m good at just getting the facts in the right spot.”

Undecided on what he wants to pursue in the future, Pedroza is thrilled to compete with 11 other writers at State. 

“It’s gonna be a fun experience; I’m just a sophomore, so hopefully, I have two more years [of competition],” Pedroza said. “This is something I’ve never done before, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Other members of the student media program will join Pedroza and Morris in Austin for the ILPC State Journalism convention. Both of Legacy’s student publications are nominated for the state’s top award, the Star Award. The Arena yearbook and The Rider Online have earned Star Awards the past 14 years – since Legacy opened. Sophomore Blake Hinerman, next year’s Assistant Editor for The Rider Online, will attend the workshop and award ceremony on UT’s campus.

“It’s so cool to be recognized for all the work you put in behind the scenes,” Hinerman said. “Posting daily, writing interesting stories and finding unique photos takes a lot of work but seeing others recognize it makes it all worth it.”