Meridian Journalism wins third straight IHSA Sectional, fourth in state

Meridian%E2%80%99s+Competitive+Journalism+team+claims+their+IHSA+Sectional+Championship+plaque.+The+team+received+their+title+at+Heartland+Community+College+on+April+22+during+the+opening+ceremony+for+the+state+event.+

photo by Sheila Moore

Meridian’s Competitive Journalism team claims their IHSA Sectional Championship plaque. The team received their title at Heartland Community College on April 22 during the opening ceremony for the state event.

The Journalism team competed in IHSA sectionals on April 9 at Meridian High School in a virtual format. At the beginning of the year, the journalism class only had three students, yet still won sectionals and placed fourth in the state. 

“I would say the unique part of this year is that I only had three students in journalism, and so a lot of the competitors this year were people that I asked to join the team, and then trained them in study hall,”  adviser Sheila Moore said. 

The newbies, some trained in just two weeks, had to take on a big role and hopefully place at sectionals. 

 “It’s kind of surprising to be doing this because I didn’t think I would do very well,” sophomore Tara Reynolds said.

When competitors hear their placement in the categories it could be stressful and thrilling since they have no clue what to expect. This is even more stressful at state because of the competition with larger schools and more students in each category. Meridian, for example, was one of 68 schools competing at state.

 “For newbies, especially those who had multiple people in their category, hearing them call sixth, fifth, fourth, you’re either thinking, ‘okay, so I was either seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth…or I’m awesome!’” Moore said. “And it is just nerve-racking and that is so much higher at state because it’s not ten in your category or six in your category it’s 21.” 

The Meridian students felt confident they would bring home a win for the high school, and they did. For the first time in school history, the team placed at the state level. 

“I’ll for sure do it next year because it’s fun to work with the prompts they give you and like to write just whatever to go along with it,” Reynolds said. 

Even for the newbies who were freshly trained, they would like to compete again next year. Team members Tara Reynolds who placed first in yearbook caption writing and second in yearbook copy writing will definitely be on Moore’s roster.

  “I will want to create my team around the three students who placed at state competition: Tara Reynolds, Connor Ryan, and Maggie Pritts. This leaves room for me to train some new folks to take the place of outgoing seniors,” Moore said.  

The team placed first at IHSA sectionals and fourth in state. It is uncertain how next year’s team will do without there being a journalism class. This is due to low numbers of students who want to enroll in Introduction to Journalism.  

 

Meridian’s journalism team brings home another sectional championship. The team tied in 2019 with Edwardsville High School, prepared for an event that was canceled in 2020, won by two points in 2021, and won by 20 points this year. (photo by Sieara Taylor)

Sectional Roster

Ellie Fitzpatrick (Sr.)
Lauren Flack (So.)
Caden Ford (So.)
Braden Hammer (Jr.)
Rose Hutton (So.)
Keagan Kantor (Sr.)
Lexi Marion (Fr.)
Maggie Pritts (So.)
Tara Reynolds (So.)
Connor Ryan (So.)
Madison Sapp (Sr.)
Audrey Schuetz (So.)
Christian Sheppard (So.)
Sieara Taylor (Sr.)
Greenley Ziemer (Fr.)

 

 

 

State Roster

Ellie Fitzpatrick (Sr.)
Braden Hammer (Jr.)
Keagan Kantor (Sr.)
Maggie Pritts (So.)
Tara Reynolds (So.)
Connor Ryan (So.)
Madison Sapp (Sr.)
Christian Sheppard (So.)
Greenley Ziemer (Fr.)