Sabine students capture gold from state at UIL showdowns

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Sabine ISD students have recorded another successful season at University Interscholastic League competitions.

Pre-AP English teacher and UIL Coordinator April Washburn said Sabine High School students competed at the state level in a variety of subjects, including Spelling, Math, Calculator, Number Sense, Ready Writing, Current Issues and Events and the Barbara Jordan essay contest.

Washburn said this round of UIL competitions saw many notable achievements for the district, including first-time journeys to state in Spelling and Current Issues and Events.

“That’s probably the biggest variety of events we have ever taken to state,” Washburn said.

In addition to qualifying for and competing at state in the 3A classification, Sabine also left their mark on the UIL competition by bringing home a medal in the Barbara Jordan essay competition, which invites competition from students in all district classifications, 1A through 6A.

SHS student Kelsey Sheets placed sixth in the essay competition. This ranking is among over 500 students who entered the essay contest statewide.

Students’ excellent performance in mathematics competitions was continued from previous years.

“We were fortunate last year. We ended up state champs in all three,” said Keith Taylor, SHS math teacher and UIL coach, referring to student wins in Math, Calculator and Number Sense competitions.

“We were able to defend those titles this year.”

In fact, SHS’s Calculator UIL team has earned the 3A state champ title four years in a row, three years in a row in Math and two years in a row for Number Sense.

Taylor attributed their success to hard work, which begins in the fall as the school year starts, frequent practice tests and students helping each other study and stay accountable.

“They were very excited. I think, just like with anything, it’s even harder to defend because you’ve got a target on you. They felt pressured to carry on the tradition. I think they were excited and relieved,” Taylor said.

For each of their wins, the students get to bring home a plaque to hang at the school and champion teams receive gold medals.

Taylor and his students take these competitions very seriously – they’re already preparing for the next one.

“We’ve already started,” Taylor said Wednesday. “We came back yesterday and took some time to reflect and talk and laugh a little bit together,” before getting ready for the fall, when the Texas Match and Science Coaches Organization will begin holding practice UIL meets from October through March.

“Basically it’s a preseason for us. It’s the same three competitions. We get to go there on Saturdays, that leads right into UIL competition season.”

Washburn said it would take some time to find out Sabine’s statewide division ranking because all of the competitions have not yet completed.

However, she was confident SHS students worked hard for a successful competition season.

“Oh, definitely. We won our district facing White Oak, which is a tough competitor. We won our regional meet for the first time ever.”

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