Journalism Team Places Second at State Tournament


courtesy of Amanda Thrun

The EHS state journalism team poses with its state runner-up medals after the award ceremony on April 22. The team also won runner-up in 2018 and state champion in 2017 and 2019.

Tyler Chrenka, Editor-in-Chief

The EHS Journalism Team placed second at the IHSA Journalism State Championship held in Bloomington on April 27, tying Fremd High School with 25 points and falling short to Huntley High School, which had 31 points. 

Out of the 25 points that competitors earned for Edwardsville, senior Logan Roever earned 11 from placing first in copy editing and second in headline writing, junior Caspar Dowdy earned 8 from placing third in editorial writing and newspaper design and freshman Veda Kommineni earned 6 from placing first in Infographics. 

At the competition, the top six finishers earn points: first place earns six, second place earns five and this pattern goes all the way down to 1 point awarded for sixth place. 

Roever, who was the first EHS student to qualify and place at state in headline writing, was surprised by the team’s second-place finish because there were only six competitors for EHS, but she was happy to learn that months of preparation and learning AP style rules had paid off. 

“It felt like a losing battle only bringing six people to state, but I tried to stay positive and keep an open mind. I think taking pressure off of myself helped me be successful because I wasn’t overthinking during my events,” Roever said. “It took months of building skills and learning AP style rules and becoming fluent in using them.”

Unlike Roever, Dowdy didn’t do much preparation for the competition; they said their Advance Journalism Composition class had done much of the work itself. 

“I honestly didn’t prepare that much. Mrs. Thrun had us doing practice events during class, but I knew I just had to trust myself and my skills,” Dowdy said. “Being in AJC definitely prepares you for situations under pressure. If you can survive Thrun’s class, IHSA is like nothing.”

In addition to lots of practice, Roever said the entire team’s mellow vibe at the competition surely helped with its success. 

“We were all pretty calm going into Friday, and we kept loose and had fun. Even at 6 a.m. we were telling each other stories and keeping conversation on the drive up,” Roever said. “I think our lighthearted mood did help our performance because we could go into our respective events feeling good about ourselves, and we didn’t spend the last two hours on the bus worrying…” 

Kommineni also thinks the vibe contributed to the team’s success. Individually, she said her prior knowledge of several design programs allowed her to be so successful in infographics. 

“Due to having prior experience in the software, I was able to make my artistic vision a reality,” Kommineni said. “The state competition itself is an experience worth remembering. It feels very grown up with everyone off doing their own thing but buzzing around looking for inspiration…it’s so energizing to see so many young people with similar interests in one place.” 

This was the EHS journalism team’s second time finishing second at the state championship. They finished second at state in 2018, and they placed first in 2017 and 2019. They placed second in this year’s sectional competition.