Organizations go for gold, competitions ramp up


Marisa Garcia

Junior Orchestra member, Dyvanna Soria, practicing her music piece for UIL.

Marisa Garcia, Reporter

Competition season is here and it is time to start preparing for the gold. Organizations such as orchestra, the math team and the debate team are eager and motivated to score well. 

“For competition, there is always that goal to score higher than anyone else and I would say that is the main goal that I have when going to competition,” junior mathlete Jaziel Robles said. 

Competition for mathletes involves a written test ranging from mental math to geometry and calculus. When preparing for competition mathlete sponsor Yolanda Gonzalez creates an environment where the students can feel at ease when practicing for competition. 

“I make sure that the environment is relaxed and very supportive so the kids can feel motivated and calm when practicing,” Gonzalez said. “If the kids are motivated then I feel motivated to know that we will win at competition.” 

Meanwhile, the debate team is focused on preparing to make it to semi-finals. Debate tournaments can involve informative and persuasive speeches that can last for ten minutes, a Lincoln Douglas debate (LD) which is where debate students build a case with an affirmation and negation, and a Duo/Duet where students have a partner to perform with, although in a Duo performance partners are not allowed to make contact and in Duet partners are allowed to make contact without disqualification. 

“Competition preparation in the debate room can be hectic but also calming. Everyone is focused on making it to the semi-finals so it is important that I find time to focus on myself and what I have to do to prepare well enough to make it to the semi-finals,” junior debate member Dennise Rodriguez said. 

Debate coach, Ricardo Jordan, teaches his students that it is good for them to win, but doing the best they can is better. The atmosphere in the debate room is enjoyable, motivating and creative, and that is exactly what Jordan intends to create. 

“Motivation comes from within, if they can motivate themselves I know that they can be successful,” Jordan said. “Debate is one of the harder endeavors to do, some kids are scared in the beginning of preparation but by the time they get it and realize if they’re patient and they learn it the right way it becomes easier.” 

Patience is key when it comes to competition, and for every team competition season can mean overwhelming and stressful situations. Orchestra students like junior orchestra member, Dyvanna Soria, use patience as a way to get through those stressful and overwhelming situations. 

“There have been times that I have felt overwhelmed because of the other school activities I am also involved in especially if the orchestra has a bad rehearsal day,” Soria said. “Although I have learned that patience is something that is required when I am practicing, if I am patient then I feel less stressed.” 

Orchestra is preparing for one of their main competitions UIL, it involves the entire varsity orchestra performing up to three songs for three judges who can give scores ranging from a one, being the highest score, to a five, being the lowest score. Orchestra teacher, Stephanie Shaurette, expects her students to remember the focus and determination that is supposed to go into preparing for this competition and she reminds them through the positive, motivating yet challenging environment that she created. 

“The students need to remember that the performance is about their musical growth and the enjoyment they get from playing the music they perform,” Shaurette said. “I like to be the one that reminds them what they are doing this for because in the end it’s not about the trophy it’s about the performance and how they’re going to feel about it.” 

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