On February 27 about 35 UIL members from Dobie Jr. High will be competing at the UIL Tournament of Champions at Church Hill Middle School. These students will have warm donuts and first place on their minds.
Mrs. Reed said that her favorite part of UIL is hanging out with the kids, and many students agree. Yes, UIL is a lot of fun and includes time to socialize. But it also takes a lot of work and focus.
UIL competitions are academic competitions ranging from categories in Oral Reading to Number Sense. Students who volunteered to join UIL met each week either before or after school, and competed against other students from other schools at meets on January 28th and or February 11th.
To qualify for the Tournament of Champions, students had to place sixth or higher in one of these meets.
As competition approaches the nerves are starting to kick in. Zoe Gamboa, eighth grader who is competing in Ready Writing at the tournament, says she is really nervous but also really excited.
Hans Loja, 8th grader, is competing in number sense, spelling, mathematics, science, dictionary skills, and maps, graphs, and charts at the tournament. “For me, it’s a very competitive thing but also a fun experience,” said Loja.
Gamboa and Loja are both hoping to get first place in their respective categories. Loja says he is mostly confident going in but is a little worried about maps, graphs, and charts and science.
Gamboa also had concerns. “Ready Writing has prompts that are not very easy to work with sometimes, so that makes me have my doubts,” she said.
Mrs. Reed, UIL coordinator and UIL Science coach, exclaimed her biggest concern for the Tournament of Champions was the lack of students, especially those new to Dobie. “ Not enough seventh graders!” Mrs. Reed said
Students are preparing for the competitions in many ways. Gamboa says she writes an essay each week based on a prompt for her coach, Mrs.Wetz, and gets feedback to try and make the essays better.
As nine schools gather in one building to compete Mrs.Reed says the biggest competitions are Spring Branch and Smithson Valley.
Loja says he is most concerned about Spring Branch. He says their students get called a lot at the award ceremony and they always get a ton of points for eighth grade.
Points are given when students win medals or ribbons and vary depending on the place the student gets.
Points are added up at the end in categories of seventh and eighth graders from each school. The school with the most points in both grade levels win a first place trophy, trophies go all the way to third place.