The UIL academic teams at Prosper High School wrapped up their year at their respective state competitions throughout May, and came back home with some hardware and high honors. Each of the student competitors participated in their events at various dates in May, helping Prosper continue their history of high academic excellence.
“We are very fortunate to have talented students and coaches, and we focus on building positive relationships while focusing on the processes and practice that lead to success in academics, fine arts and athletics,” Principal John Burdett said.
Back on May 5, Prosper’s journalism department competed in the UIL Interscholastic League Press Conference State Championship, and placed in several categories.
Bringing home a state title were Jake Fein and Sola Kantai for their work on “In the Aftermath.” Fein and Kantai were popular names at the competition, as the duo went on to win in three other categories — second in both General Feature Writing (“In the Aftermath”) and Intro Sequence, which included Brandon Bonaparte, and third in Sports Feature Story for “Bucky.”
Also under the general news categories, Nico Ray’s “KPK One Year Anniversary” won second place in Special Coverage, while technical Directors Luke Cordy and BamBam Lee also won second in their event.
The Prosper Anchor Team Presentation was awarded first place, and included Brandon Bonaparte, Kacey Bolston, Jake Fein, Christina Folsom, Seth Golden, Sola Kantai, Ashley Parscal, Camron Silva, Kaitlyn Wessels and Tyler Windon.
Prosper’s award-winning sports department also put on a show at state. Kelly Trinh placed first in Sports Feature Story Writing for “Cutting the Stereotype,” along with the Graphics Team of Cory Tennison, Madelyn Moody and Max Hamilton.
Following close behind in third place was Seth Golden for his work on “Winter Sports Post Season” for the category of General Sports Writing. Brandon Bonaparte was also third as an Individual On-Air Anchor.
For Eagle Nation News, the organization also had a lot of journalists win high honors. Kester Muthalaly was named as one of the Tops in Texas for his photo portfolio, and won first place for his work in four different photography categories (feature, entertainment, sports action and photo portfolio). He also placed third in general news photo and honorable mention for his sports feature story and portrait submissions.
Zach Markey also was first and third in the sports column category and was named honorable mention for the Headlines category.
In third place, ENO saw four members of the journalism team take home honors, including Neha Madhira for sports feature photo. Madhira was also awarded third, along with Peyton Jefferson and Delaney Butler for their in-depth news package.
Rounding out the awards were the honorable mentions: Isabella Abraham for News Story, Headlines; Mariana Pena for Feature Story; Morgan Harris for Entertainment Feature Story; Peyton Jefferson for Personal Opinion Column.
In a separate competition, Logan Davenport earned the title of UIL Calculator Applications State Champion on May 5. He was accompanied by his coach, Thomas Gomez, during the competition.
Prosper’s winning extended to May 23, when the speech team finished second in the UIL state competition, finishing just two points shy of first.
Other notable finishes included: Julia VanDuren - 2nd place, Poetry; Kaleb Simes - 3rd place, LD; Josie Loving - 3rd place, Prose; Myah Durham - 4th place, Prose; Alec Antonakakis - 5th place, LD; Zane Smith - 5th place, Persuasive; Logan Riseling - 5th place, Poetry.
Prosper’s One Act Team finished 5th in the State for their play, Trojan Women. Josie Loving was named to the all-star cast, while Logan Riesling and Emily Keegan-Wolf were named as honorable mentions.
Overall, Prosper’s team came home with a third place trophy after all competitions were complete.
“What this says about academics at Prosper High School is that it only comes second to our first priority — the safety and well-being of our students, staff and community,” Burdett said about the amount of academic success at UIL state competitions this year.
All of the wins also help Prosper in the UIL Lone Star Cup, which is a combination of success in academics, fine arts and athletics from teams all across the state. Prosper remains in first place in 5A, with a one-point lead over rivaling Highland Park.
Burdett hopes that the state championships won in 2018 will encourage other students to become involved in the UIL academic team of their choice, starting with the younger students in the Prosper community.
“We are encouraging other students to get more involved by doing some early recruiting in elementary schools for UIL academic competitions and by honoring our future Eagles for their accomplishments,” he said. “We are also actively recruiting students at the middle school and high school who have the potential to be successful in UIL academics by identifying them in our classes and inviting them to join these very successful teams.”