At 8:15 all 13 students competing at sectionals board the bus to Northern Illinois University. Sectionals is not something that newspaper advisor Dennis Brown takes as a joke. Brown has been preparing these 13 students for over a month to compete against other schools to earn a spot at the state championship and to win a sectional title.
“If feels great (to qualify 12 people for state), to be honest, Huntley High School does very well at the sectional tournament,” said Brown. “Last year we had four students advance, but to have 12 advance, it is kind of back to what we usually do, and secondly we have a much better chance of winning the state championship.
Last year at sectionals, Huntley had a very devastating loss (for them at least) only advancing four people to the state championship. This year, was a huge turnaround for the team, nine students qualified in 12 different events. Usually the students compete in one event, but Brown wanted every event to have a Huntley student. This meant that sophomore Courtney Thomas, and seniors Jessamine Clavero and Claire Filpi all competed in two events.
“It is nerve racking, but I am super excited to go, because I get to represent my school and hang out with my friends,” said Thomas.
Although advancing to state is a huge deal for freshman Haylie Larson, many of the first year journalism students qualified for state.
“I feel like it is very exciting to me, because I never competed in journalism before,” said Devin Martin. “I have competed in sports before, but it was never really something that I cared about.”
The qualifiers are seniors Jess Clavero in yearbook layout and copy editing, and Claire Filpi in newspaper design and yearbook copywriting, juniors Devin Martin in broadcast news and Adam Reckamp in sports writing, sophomores Courtney Thomas in yearbook caption writing and headline writing, Maddy Moffett in editorial writing, Mawa Iqbal news writing, and freshman Haylie Larson in advertising. Moffett is not a part of the journalism program just yet, but she took the intro to news media class last semester, so Brown knew what her writing was like. She ended up placing first in editorial writing.
The state competition will be held on Friday May 1 at Eastern Illinois University.