IHSA Journalism Sectionals Champion


photo by Sheila Moore

The Meridian Journalism Sectionals Team is presented with their Sectionals Champions plaque after thinking they truly got second for a couple of weeks.

by Hannah Reichert, Editor-in-Chief


The Meridian Journalism Sectionals team was informed by their principal, Eric Hurelbrink, they tied as IHSA Sectional Champions. Hurelbrink presented them with the plaque. This announcement came after one of the team member’s entries was misplaced at the IHSA Sectional competition in Carbondale, Illinois.

Adviser Sheila Moore and a couple of other team members discovered an inconsistency in the total points accounted for by the judges on the bus ride home from the competition. They later discovered that Hannah Reichert’s editorial entry had not been ranked and added to Meridian’s total points.

“When I heard there might have been a mistake, I was really confused. I wanted to know what was going on, and what would be done if they couldn’t find it,” said Sydney Moore, who competed in News Writing and Yearbook Layout. “If we were supposed to be Sectional Champions, that is an important detail…”

With not being able to properly score the misplaced editorial entry, the Assistant Executive Director of IHSA, Matt Troha went ahead and called it a tie between Meridian and Edwardsville for first place, because that entry could have put Meridian in first or tied them.

“I was really surprised when we found out that we tied for first because I didn’t think that they would find Hannah Reichert’s entry,” said Madison Sapp, who placed sixth at the State competition. “At the Sectionals competition, it didn’t feel right that we got second, because we had a lot of people place and we had so many points.”

The team was called to Adviser Moore’s classroom in study hall, where Hurelbrink sat them down and had a serious talk with them. His tone made it sound like they might be in trouble, but in the end, he pulled out their Sectionals Championship plaque and presented it to them.

The team hurried to take pictures and touch the plaque, some even kissed it in joy.

Adviser Moore found out by a request from Lori Huggins, the MHS secretary, to come and get her mail from the office. When she got to the office, there was an oddly shaped package, and when she opened it at first, she thought it was a mistake.

“I was absolutely in shock, we had not had that much success at a Sectional competition before. It felt so good at Sectionals to keep hearing Meridian…Meridian…Meridian…Meridian and seeing our team hold their own against other schools was amazing,” said Adviser Moore. “Knowing that we tied with the team that ultimately went on to win the state was just a phenomenal feeling.”