Motion moves Southridge to Spell Bowl victory

Photos by Brittney Lohmiller/The Herald
Southridge Middle School seventh-grader Erika Candelario, left, and eight-grader Jazmin Uresti anxiously watch Jazmin's twin sister, Joselyn, compete in Tuesday's Indiana Academic Spell Bowl Junior Division at Jasper Middle School. "I'm so nervous my hands are sweating," Jazmin said to Erika. Southridge placed first in Class 2 and won the overall spell bowl. For more photos from the spell bowl, click here.

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

JASPER— Southridge Middle School sixth-grader Maddie Wright and her friend, eighth-grader Joselyn Uresti, helped other members of the Southridge Spell Bowl team stretch ahead of Tuesday night’s area competition at Jasper Middle School.

“If you’re up and moving, it helps you remember better,” Maddie said.

Motion is one of several memory tools Southridge Middle School’s Spell Bowl team uses to memorize its words. Others include writing in blue ink during practices and playing a Family Feud-style game with the words on the bus ride to the competition.

The tricks paid off.

With a score of 33, Southridge won the area Spell Bowl competition for the junior division Tuesday night at Jasper Middle School.

Other area teams competing were Jasper Middle School, Forest Park Junior-Senior High School. Perry Central Junior-Senior High School, Paoli Junior-Senior High School, Heritage Hills Middle School, Barr Reeve Middle School, Tecumseh Middle School and Dubois Middle School.

Jasper Middle School sixth-grader Isaac Wilson reacts to misspelling 'archdiocese' during Tuesday's Indiana Academic Spell Bowl Junior Division at Jasper Middle School. For more photos from the spell bowl, click here.

The Indiana Association of School Principals hosts Spell Bowl competitions each year for fourth- through 12th-graders, with an elementary, junior and senior division. Tuesday night’s competition was for the junior division.

To compete, teams memorize a list of 750 to 2,500 words, depending on their division, that may be asked during competitions. This year’s list for the junior division had 1,614 words. Competitions are broken into several rounds of nine words, with each round bringing new spellers to the stage. Each team sends one speller to each round.

Eighth-grader Nakia Sorrells opened the competition for Dubois Middle School, trying her hand at words like lieutenant, facsimile, chilblain, impugner and obstreperous.

“Those were hard words,” Nakia said, walking back to her seat after the round. “I was one letter off on most of them.”

The Dubois Middle School spell bowl team huddles together before shouting their favorite word, gobbledygook, before the start of Tuesday's Indiana Academic Spell Bowl Junior Division at Jasper Middle School. Dubois placed third in Class 4. For more photos from the spell bowl, click here.

Dubois placed third in Class 4 of the area competition and seventh in the competition as a whole with a score of 19.

As kids took the stage for their rounds of spelling, Jasper Middle School eighth-grader Kade Mundy sat in his seat doodling and writing on his yellow pocket folder.

“I’m last,” he said, “so I’m just writing stuff down to make me not be nervous.”

Tuesday night was Kade’s first Spell Bowl competition. So far, he said, participating in Spell Bowl was a good choice, and he’s enjoyed watching his teammates improve their spelling skills.

Jasper Middle School finished first in Class 2 and sixth in the area competition, as a whole.

Area competitions like the one Tuesday night determine which teams move on to the state level competition, set for Nov.10. State-qualifying teams will be announced Friday after scores from all the area competitions have been logged.

The area senior division competition was Monday, and the elementary competition is at 5 p.m. Nov. 15 at Center Crest Intermediate School in Bretzville.

Forest Park Jr./Sr. High School eighth-grader Zoe Becher listens to the pronunciation of a word before spelling it during Tuesday's Indiana Academic Spell Bowl Junior Division at Jasper Middle School.For more photos from the spell bowl, click here.

Final Scores:

Southridge: Final score 33; first in Class 3; first in area competition

Heritage Hills: Final score 32; second in Class 3; second in area competition

Tecumseh: Final score 26; first in Class 4; third in area competition

Perry Central: Final score 24; third in Class 3; fourth in area competition

Barr Reeve: Final score 21; second in Class 4; fifth in area competition

Jasper: Final score 20; first in Class 2; sixth in area competition

Dubois: Final score 19; third in Class 4; seventh in area competition

Forest Park: Final score 18; tied for fourth in Class 3; tied for eighth in area competition

Paoli: Final score 18; tied for fourth in Class 3; tied for eighth in area competition

 

 




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