April 21, 2011 - A debater and a news writer from Leonard High School easily handled the competition Saturday at the Class 2A Region II UIL Academic Championships at Tarleton State University.
Senior Wesley Orr and junior Cory Martin earned medals in their respective events and will now represent Region II at the 2011 State UIL Championships in Austin on May 5-7.
LHS UIL Coordinator Greg Connelly had high praise for his troops.
"These two kids have worked harder than anybody else this year," Connelly said. "Cory was writing his debate cases very early in the year, and Wesley gave up his place on the UIL Spelling team to concentrate on journalism. It's no surprise that they have made it to the final stop on the tour."
Orr, who had won the news writing competition at the District 12-2A meet at TAMU-Commerce in March, followed that up Saturday against regional competition with another gold medal in his event. Martin was the 12-2A runner-up at the district speaking competition in Caddo Mills last month, and made the finals again at regionals. Martin didn't debate in the finals, however. With a state trip set in stone, he graciously accepted the silver medal in order to shorten the contest. The Leonard HS Senior Prom was Saturday night, and some seniors had made the trip. Had he gone to the next round and tried for the gold, there was a very good chance the seniors would miss their important event.
"I told Coach Connelly that was what I wanted to do," Martin said. "I didn't mind at all."
Senior Karrina Vaughn competed in Computer Applications at regionals for Leonard after her third-place finish at district. She finished tied for 22nd at the regional meet.
Junior Cory Martin (left) and Senior Wesley Orr will compete at the UIL Academic State meet May 5-7. Martin took second place in debate at regionals and Orr placed first in newswriting at the same contest. - Photo courtesy of Greg Connelly
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