PROSPER — The 2018 Regional University Interscholastic League Competition, which took place last week on April 14, was a great success for Prosper High School.
As one of the host schools for regionals, the team didn’t have to travel far for the competition, which was both a benefit and an honor for the school as most regional sites are typically hosted by colleges or universities. Prosper High’s location was the site for Region 2-5A competition.
Prosper advanced to state in 15 of the 17 competitions they participated in, including being named the Speech Team Regional Champion for the third consecutive year, and the first ever Regional Championship for the One Act team.
“[The students] work throughout the year and attend invitational meets to compete for practice before the district meet in March,” Associate PHS Principal Rachall Grant said. “Those placing in the top three advance to Regionals, and the top three advance to state.”
Coached by Lori Oglesbee, Neha Madira and Isabella Abraham will both be headed to the state competition. Madira took home second place in News Writing, while Abraham placed second in Headline Writing.
The Calculator Applications team took home second place overall at regionals, with Logan Davenport named the winner of the competition. Additionally, Alex Windon placed fourth; both will represent Prosper at State along with coach Thomas Gomez.
Evan Ballard’s fourth place finish was good for a place as first alternate in Computer Applications. Led by coach Nina Chantanapuma, Ballard was accompanied in the competition by Pardha Eluri, who finished sixth.
Seth Phillips led the debate competitors to strong finishes; both Alec Antonakakis and Kaleb Simes will be headed to state for LD Debate, finishing second and third. Accompanied by Michael Stephens, Phillips was also the coach for the poetry and speech competitions in which six competitors advanced to state.
In Prose Interpretation, Myah Durham placed third, while Josie Loving was named the regional champion. Julia VanDuren and Logan Riseling picked up a second and third place finish in Poetry Interpretation, and Bryan Derebery placed third in Informative Speaking. Rounding out the individual state attendees was Zane Smith, taking home third place in Persuasive Speaking. In addition to Smith, Hunter Jordan finished sixth.
As mentioned previously, the Prosper Speech Team picked up their third consecutive regional championship in competition.
Lastly, but certainly not least, the Prosper One Act team secured their first ever regional championship for their performances in “Trojan Women.” Josie Loving was named Best Actress, Logan Riesling was named to the All-Star Cast and the Ensemble was named honorable mention. Additionally, Rachel Carnegie won the Crew Award.
Though the 2017-2018 competitions are winding down, any student at PHS can look forward to participating on next year’s teams.
“Any student at Prosper High can be involved in UIL,” Grant said. “Eligibility requirements do apply for competitions, and practices occur at the determination of the coach based upon the needs of the students.”
Grant said the UIL programs are an important part of the school’s extracurricular programs because it gives all students the opportunity to be a part of a Prosper High team.
“It gives students who are not athletes the opportunity to compete in an academic venue in their area of expertise,” she said. “As a state official myself, I am so proud of what UIL and our UIL State Directors do year after year to give our students the opportunities to succeed.”
As an additional incentive, the competitions are a great way to grab the attention of colleges and universities around the country. UIL offers the TILF Scholarship to students planning to attend a Texas university who advances to state in UIL Academics, Speech/Debate and/or One Act Play.
“The more a student attends, the higher the chances for getting the scholarship and getting a large sum,” Grant added.
The 2018 UIL Academic Meet will be held on May 4-5, with speech events held May 21-22 at the University of Texas in Austin. For more information on the event, visit http://www.uiltexas.org/academics/state.