Top talent: Freshman earns all-state status

Published Wednesday, April 4, 2018
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In just three UIL meets, Bridgeport freshman Jacob Richey earned enough points to make the all-state journalism staff.

RIBBONS AND MEDALS – Bridgeport freshman Jacob Richey shows off the awards he won in UIL journalism events. Messenger photo by Racey Burden

Richey, who earned a spot at the regional UIL meet in editorial writing and qualified as an alternate in feature writing, placed either first or second in all of his events at the practice meets, earning 53 points, three more than the 50 required to qualify for the all-state staff.

“It was very exciting,” Richey said. “I was having a hard time believing it. I went over the points three times.”

Richey started editorial writing in middle school with the encouragement of a friend.

“I always wanted to do copy editing,” Richey said. “That’s what I thought editorial was because it had the word ‘edit’ in it. I love correcting people’s grammar.”

Confusion aside, Richey earned medals and ribbons across the board at the District 9-4A meet in the UIL journalism events – second in editorial writing, fourth in feature writing, fifth in headline writing and fifth in news writing (he also won copy editing, a pilot competition).

Richey credits Bridgeport’s new journalism teacher and UIL coordinator Cindy Berry with helping him improve.

“She’s very supportive and really led me along the way,” he said. “She helped me become a better writer and helped me understand what I needed to do.”

Berry applauded Richey’s work ethic, saying he listens carefully to critiques and even practiced over spring break.

“He’s so busy doing one act [play] he couldn’t go to a lot of the practice meets, or he probably would have ended up with 70 points,” Berry said. “It’s always exciting when your student is successful, but to have someone who is so young and does well in everything – that’s a UIL coach’s dream.”

Richey competes in the 4A Region II meet April 14. He hopes to advance to state. Beyond that he wants to improve every year.

“I want to make sure I am dedicated to being more successful next year than I am this year,” he said. “Even if I don’t place higher, I want to improve my writing.”

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