UIL Academics Spring Meet at Franklin High School

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Justice Harris, Staff Editor

After weeks of preparation for the events to come, students took over the scene at Franklin High School on April 1 and 2.  

Students from all EPISD schools ventured over to the campus to participate in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Academics Spring Meet for the first time since COVID-19 swept the country. 

“I was expecting it to be a smaller event,” Senior Christian Gallardo said. “It was much larger than I anticipated. Pretty nerve-racking to see all the people that I was going to go up against.” 

A wide variety of contests were offered from speech and debate events to mathematics, science, current events, journalism and writing, science, social studies, and spelling. 

“I honestly didn’t think I was going to win,” Sophomore Desert-Rain Martin said. “I didn’t even really want to go; it was actually my friend, Sienna, that encouraged me to do it. [When I won] I felt very ecstatic. I literally yelled down the hall that I won.” 

For Desert-Rain, the win served as more than just a place on the leaderboard. 

“My win shows people talents that they don’t usually get to see,” Desert-Rain said. 

Being reunited with schools across the district ignited rivalry with El Paso High School. And for journalism teachers, Ismael Barraza, and Daniel Ornelas, the stakes were high. 

“We made a bet,” Barraza said. “Whoever had the least amount of medals, or didn’t win, whatever our place was, had to shave their beard. I lost.”

Chapin ranked 2nd place overall at the tournament.

“I have not shaved my beard completely since 2002, it has been about 20 years since then,” Barazza said. “Pretty big bet!” 

Those who ranked third place and above qualified to compete at the UIL Academic regional tournament, and will be traveling to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas on April 21. 

“It’s exciting,” Christian said. “This is my first UIL trip. I don’t know what to expect, but I think we’re gonna have fun!”