Hallsville High School State UIL team 2019

Hallsville High School placed fourth at the University Interscholastic League Academic State meet this year. Two students won first place in a total of three events; senior Garrett Bell won accounting and senior Nathan Davis won both social studies and biology. Back row: Trace Brooks, Jonah Bostick, Austin Foye, Jason Zhang, Jamal Zhang, Steven Ashmore, Casey Hart, Andrew Hickey, Christian Lambert, Zachary Rodgers, Nathan Davis, Zac Springer, Josh Elledge, Garrett Bell, Darian Burroughs. Front row: London Gribble, Madison Buchanan, Macie Maberry, Lillie Ziegler, Alexys Smith, Brianna Young, Emma Raney, Catherine Gallant, Noor Khan, Abby Sullens.

Hallsville High School is adding more hardware to its University Interscholastic League collection.

The school placed fourth at the Class 5A University Interscholastic League Academic State meet with 86 points after final sweepstakes points were totaled when speech and debate contests ended May 30.

Lee Branson, Hallsville High School UIL coordinator, said he is excited about the results his student squad produced.

“We have a very young team, and we are still rebuilding,” he said. “I think next year will be even better.”

Hallsville had two students win first place in a total of three events. Senior Garrett Bell is the state champion in accounting with a perfect score, and senior Nathan Davis brought home two gold medals in social studies and biology.

“We’re losing Garrett and Nathan, and those two are not just leaders, they’ve been kind of the backbone that guaranteed points for the team,” Branson said. “It’s hard to replace that.”

Hallsville will experience some coaching changes in the program next year, Branson said, but he said he’s not worried.

“I think most of the new people will be from within the district, and our legacy is so strong, that the expectations are high,” he said. “The support system here is super strong, so when a new person comes in, it makes it easy for them to be at the level the rest of us are at.”

Many students will not take a break over the summer as they prepare for math/science and speech/debate camps, Branson said. When the students return in August, they will hit the ground running, trying to capture another state title.