Motion moves Southridge to Spell Bowl victoryOctober 31, 2018
By LEANN BURKE
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.
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.”
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.
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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