Students succeed at State UIL Academics


Paige Hert

At the State UIL Academics competition on May 25, junior Lindsey Buggi wins second place in the headline writing competition. “When I found out I was in the top six I was aggressively excited and could not stop shaking,” Buggi said. “I was so pumped when I found out I had won second place and get a medal bigger then my fist. “

Avery Deen, Reporter

On May 25, several students competed in UIL Academics on the State level. Cedar Park placed 11th overall and had four students place individually in varying events. Junior Morgan Grosch came in first in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, junior Lindsey Buggi placed second in headline writing for journalism, freshman Josh Kolenbrander came in fifth in number sense and senior Justin Lovelace placed tenth for science overall.

Lincoln-Douglas debates are a series of five debates that take place over the course of two days where each side is assigned to argue either the affirmative or negative side of the given topic. Grosch practiced for the competition by gathering research over the pre-announced topics and running through several practice drills.

“I tried to just compete through each round and not think too far ahead,” Grosch said. “I was very calm yet excited since they were my last debates of the season. The hardest debate I had to do was the topic ‘in the United States, wealth inequality is detrimental to democratic ideas.’ I would say the rounds I had to negate the topic on were very difficult solely because most people would agree that poverty is not beneficial to society.”

In the headline writing competition, students must read articles and write a headline benefiting it. Some are clever or punny, others are to the point and factual. Competitors must write six of these headlines in 45 minutes.

“Going in was a bit stressful, but knowing that I was only competing against 12 of the 75 people in the room helped me feel a little calmer,” Buggi said. “I was really scared I would disappoint everyone, I kept imagining myself winning and losing and by the end I think I had come up with every possible scenario. When I was writing, I completely zoned in on being specific and creative at the same time, I got really nervous when someone finished in 15 minutes. In the end I was glad I was done because I could stop stressing and focus on waiting for the results. I was so pumped to get a medal bigger than my fist. I was up on stage and tried not to trip as I had the medal placed around my neck. It was definitely worth it, by the end I was emotionally exhausted, but it was one of the most memorable days of my life.”

State competition marks the end of the UIL Academic season, and whether or not students place, it’s quite an accomplishment to make it to the State level.

“It’s so exciting and I was really happy that my season could end in such a way,” Grosch said. “I spent a lot of time preparing and researching with my friend Macalah Thomas who also qualified. We made sure we knew every one of our positions inside and out so we would be prepared. It was a lot of work, but I’m so glad it payed off.”