UIL academic team wins sweepstakes at Red Raider Classic


Laura Smith

The journalism team won 176 points out of a total of 258 for Canyon High School. The team included Claire Meyer (junior), Macy McClish (junior), Faith Douglass (senior), Luke Bruce (junior), Blake Loria (sophomore), Alayshea Stewart (sophomore), Brooklyn Pernell (freshman) and Kodi Hicks (sophomore).

The UIL academic team competed in the Red Raider Classic invitational meet at Texas Tech University Saturday, Jan. 15.

The group of 22 Canyon High students earned a cumulative 258 points which qualified them for sweepstakes, the top award in the 3A-4A division. The journalism team also placed first in their contest with 176 points. Junior Julian Sewell participated in the Science, Number Sense, Mathematics and Calculator events.

I always enjoy going to meets because you meet a lot of people with similar interests.

— Julian Sewell, 11

“I’ve gone my freshman, sophomore and junior year,” Sewell said. “I always enjoy going to meets because you meet a lot of people with similar interests. It’s always fun to be recognized for academic stuff opposed to sports.”

Sewell got involved in UIL Academics through Algebra I teacher Marlene Taylor.

“I originally started off in the math events because Mrs. Taylor talked about it with me,” Sewell said. “I gradually got into other ones because I learned about the other ones. I tried it my freshman year and continued since then.”

Sewell placed second in science overall and said he hopes to improve in the upcoming meets.

“Every year I’ve gotten better,” Sewell said. “I want to place in the top five. That’s what I’m shooting for. Hopefully get some good team scores as well, so we can win as a team.”

UIL Academics play a part in some students future career goals.

“When I grow up, I want to be a physicist, and that’s a lot of math,” Sewell said. “This encourages me to practice and think creatively about problems and how to solve them.”

First-year school newspaper staff member sophomore Blake Loria competed in News Writing, Copy Editing and Editorial Writing.

I thought this was really good practice because I had never been in that kind of setting before.”

— Blake Loria, 10

“I won first in Editorial Writing, second in Copy Editing and fifth in News Writing,” Loria said. “I thought this was really good practice because I had never been in that kind of setting before. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It was more relaxed than what I thought.”

Loria said he wants to pursue a career in journalism in the future.

“I really want to become a better writer overall,” Loria said. “It’s not about winning for me even though that would be nice. Journalism is a big part of my life. I love journalism, and I want to be a journalist.”



3rd Madison Hill

6th Samantha Fernandez



3rd Cally Lytal



2nd Julian Sewell

10th Laura Gill


Literary Criticism

1st Brooklyn Cornelsen


Spelling and Vocabulary

2nd Bret Ramirez


Ready Writing

3rd Charlee Alexander


News Writing

1st Alayshea Stewart

2nd Luke Bruce

3rd Faith Douglass

5th Blake Loria


Editorial Writing

1st Blake Loria

2nd Faith Douglass

3rd Luke Bruce

4th Alayshea Stewart


Feature Writing

1st Macy McClish

2nd Claire Meyer

3rd Kodi Hicks

4th Brooklyn Pernell


Headline Writing

1st Claire Meyer

3rd Brooklyn Pernell

4th Kodi Hicks

5th Faith Douglass


Copy Editing

2nd Blake Loria

3rd Faith Douglass

4th Macy McClish

5th Luke Bruce