It started with a tabloid and led to a state championship.

“I would see funny headlines in different tabloids and think ‘Hey, I should do that,’” UIL 2-A State Champion Headline Writer Zane Cavender said. “I never thought that would lead to winning state, but I view it as something I have achieved in an event that I love.”

Cavender, a sophomore at Mildred High School, won the state championship last Friday in Headline Writing — a journalism event in which students are given six short news stories and expected to make up headlines (or titles) for the articles based on a preset character count.

“My favorite headline this year was about the Administration and students having to wear pink tutus across the stage because a basketball game had ended in a tie and no one had won the bet,” Cavender said. “I came up with ‘Pretty in Pink — Student/Faculty tie game ends in frilly arrangement.’ Apparently, the judges liked it.”

Cavender’s championship is the first for Mildred in Headline Writing, although students have gone in Journalism events for the past seven years — racking up two feature writing championships and several other state medals including state champion journalism team in 2005.

Cavender has also been involved in several other UIL events including Editorial Writing — an event he placed sixth in last year — and One-Act Play where he received two All-Star cast awards with this year’s “The Bald Soprano.”

“Since this year’s One-Act Play season, there is nothing I have loved more,” Cavender said. “The places I went, the people I met, and most importantly the appreciation I got are the most incredible things in the world. I got individual awards at district and area, but nothing equals the level of devotion we had for the play, our director, and most of all each other — we were like a family.”

In the future, Cavender hopes to finish out high school staying with Headline and One-Act Play as well as continuing his involvement with student organizations — like Drama Club, National Honor Society, and Student Council — always working towards his perspective career in politics.

“What I am looking forward to more than anything is just having the opportunity to get my name out there and do something,” Cavender said. “I would love to win state again, but if that doesn’t work out, there is no where to go but up.”


Chase Springer may be contacted via e-mail at

Recommended for you