Students claim top spots at District Academics Meet

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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Three dozen Bridgeport and Decatur high school students earned a bid to regionals at the District 9-3A UIL academic competition in Decatur last Wednesday.

The local schools landed 62 top-six finishes in 21 events en route to first and second place in the overall standings. Decatur won the meet with 354.33, just five points ahead of Bridgeport’s 349 total.

Decatur writers claimed 10 of the 12 regional-qualifying spots in the four journalism events. Paris Walther medaled in all four – taking the crown in editorial, feature and headline writing and finishing third in news writing. Cristin Morgan snagged the top finish in the fourth event and also finished second in editorial and third in feature.

Madeline Pena landed a pair of silver finishes in each headline and news writing, and Remington May took third in headline writing.

“I have never had a more successful group of UIL writers,” their coach Cindy Berry said. “I am so proud.”

Led by first-place Trinity Homuth, Decatur’s computer applications team snagged all three medals. Mackey Dailey earned the silver and Kyle Hubbard the bronze.

Bridgeport students swept the math events with first-place finishes by Grant Vernon in calculator applications and Alex Sullivan-Green in mathematics and number sense. Alex’s first-place finish in number sense – paired with Vernon in fourth and Matt Sullivan-Green in sixth – propelled the team, which also includes Destiny Krahn, to a regional-qualifying top spot. Matt will also compete at regionals in calculator applications after snagging the bronze at district.

Fueled by gold-winning performances by Mark Garrison in informative speaking and Karen Brown in poetry interpretation, Bridgeport was recognized as the top speech team.

Other medalists and regional qualifiers in speech events include Stephen Howdeshell (second) and Tyler Hamblin (third) in persuasive speaking; Lacey Gregg (second) in prose interpretation, and J.T. Bazinet (second) in informative speaking.

In addition to speech, Bridgeport students earned top team honors in social studies, spelling and literary criticism. All members of those three teams will compete at regionals.

Garrison also took the gold in social studies, followed by Madison Manoushagian in second. They will be joined at regionals by other team members Cameron Crawford, who finished fifth, and Stephen Howdeshell.

In spelling, second-place Tyler Yates led Bridgeport’s three consecutive placings – Bin Na Kim and John David Walker. Fourth team-member Brianna Polk also advances.

Marcela Garza’s bronze finish in literary criticism lifted her team to the top finish. Teammates Hannah Brown and Kathryn McCauley finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Region II meet is Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, in Commerce.


School, points
1. Decatur, 354.33
2. Bridgeport, 349
3. Gainesville, 329
4. Sanger, 180.33
5. Krum, 148.33


* denotes regional qualifier

Accounting – 2. Emily Santos, Decatur*; 3. Melvin Little, Decatur*; 6. Dylan Erwin, Decatur

Calculator Applications – 1. Grant Vernon, Bridgeport*; 3. Matt Sullivan-Green, Bridgeport*; 4. Alex Sullivan-Green, Bridgeport; 5. Bryson Byrd, Bridgeport

Current Issues – 2. Javier Cruz, Decatur*; 3. Lacy Hankins, Decatur*; 4. Madison Manoushagian, Bridgeport; 5. Stephen Howdeshell, Bridgeport

Computer Applications – 1. Trinity Homuth, Decatur*; 2. Mackey Dailey, Decatur*; 3. Kyle Hubbard, Decatur*

Cross-Examination Debate – 1. Mark Garrison, J.T. Bazinet; 2. Trey Dale, Mital Patel (all qualified for state at March 11-12 regional competition)

Editorial Writing – 1. Paris Walther, Decatur*; 2. Cristin Morgan, Decatur*

Feature Writing – 1. Paris Walther, Decatur*; 3. Cristin Morgan, Decatur*; 4. Remington May, Decatur

Headline Writing – 1. Paris Walther, Decatur*; 2. Madelina Pe a, Decatur*; 3. Remington May, Decatur*; 4. Kendall Perry, Bridgeport

Informative Speaking – 1. Mark Garrison, Bridgeport*; 2. J.T. Bazinet, Bridgeport*; 3. Jesus Gam, Decatur*; 4. Robert Davila, Decatur; 5. Zane Brown, Bridgeport

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2. Jared Miller, Decatur*; 4. Brayden Byrd, Bridgeport

Literary Criticism – 3. Marcela Garza, Bridgeport*; 4. Hannah Brown, Bridgeport; 5. Kathryn McCauley, Bridgeport

Mathematics – 1. Alex Sullivan-Green, Bridgeport*; 5. Grant Vernon, Bridgeport;

Number Sense – 1. Alex Sullivan-Green, Bridgeport*; 4. Grant Vernon, Bridgeport; 6. Matt Sullivan-Green, Bridgeport;

News Writing – 1. Cristin Morgan, Decatur*; 2. Madeline Pe a, Decatur*; 3. Paris Walther, Decatur*

Persuasive Speaking – 2. Stephen Howdeshell, Bridgeport*; 3. Tyler Hamblin, Bridgeport*; 4. Luke Thomas, Decatur; 5. Trey Dale, Decatur

Poetry Interpretation – 1. Karen Brown, Bridgeport*; 5. Krystal Viera, Decatur; 6. Emily Howdeshell, Decatur

Prose Interpretation – 2. Lacey Gregg, Bridgeport*; 6. Mital Patel, Decatur

Ready Writing – 2. Benji Walker, Decatur*; 3. Kendall Hubbard, Decatur*

Science (Chemistry) – 1. Nick Oberle, Decatur*

Social Studies – 1. Mark Garrison, Bridgeport*; 2. Madison Manoushagian, Bridgeport*; 5. Cameron Crawford, Bridgeport; 6. Braiden Meador, Decatur

Spelling and Vocabulary – 2. Tyler Yates, Bridgeport*; 3. Bin Na Kim, Bridgeport*; 4. John David Walker, Bridgeport; 5. Victor Me a, Decatur; 6. Mallory Miller, Decatur


Note: In some events, top teams are recognized, but its members do not advance to regionals unless they qualified individually.

Accounting – 2. Decatur

Calculator Applications – 1. Bridgeport (Grant Vernon, Matt Sullivan-Green, Alex Sullivan-Green, Bryson Byrd)*

Current Issues – 2. Decatur

Cross-Examination Debate – 1. Bridgeport; 2. Decatur

Journalism (editorial, feature, headline and news writing) – 1. Decatur

Literary Criticism – 1. Bridgeport (Marcela Garza, Hannah Brown, Kathryn McCauley)*

Mathematics – 2. Bridgeport

Number Sense – 1. Bridgeport (Alex Sullivan-Green, Grant Vernon, Matt Sullivan-Green, Destiny Krahn)*

Social Studies – 1. Bridgeport (Mark Garrison, Madison Manoushagian, Cameron Crawford, Stephen Howdeshell)*

Speech (informative and persuasive speaking, poetry and prose interpretation) – 1. Bridgeport

Spelling and Vocabulary – 1. Bridgeport (Tyler Yates, Bin Na Kim, John David Walker, Brianna Polk)*; 2. Decatur


  • 33 top-six finishes in 16 different events.
  • Individually, 16 students qualified for regionals in 11 different events


  • 29 top-six finishes in 13 different events.
  • Individually, 15 students qualified for regionals in 10 different events.
  • Bridgeport had six top-team finishes, four of which will advance to regionals.

Alvord, Boyd and Paradise compete in the 9-2A District Meet Thursday.
Chico did not participate in UIL Academics.
Slidell competes in the 14-A District Meet Thursday.

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