PREBLE COUNTY — Four rounds and 46 words was all it took to crown Eaton Middle School student Evelyn Cole as the 2021 Preble County Spelling Bee champion on Thursday, March 11.
Cole correctly spelled fester, dosages, arcane, testosterone, samosas and inexorably to outlast the other 18 competitors from county elementary and middle schools.
Preble Shawnee Middle School’s Jacob Slade earned a second place finish, winning a spell-off with Twin Valley South Middle School’s Zion Gade, who finished third.
“Just really thankful for the families of the students for supporting them, helping them get through the last year with school and keeping them involved in enrichment and extracurricular activities,” said Tyler Baker, Preble ESC Enrichment Coordinator. “They deserve the credit. Them and the teachers have been right there the last whole year, and if it wasn’t for them, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Baker said students qualified for the county spelling bee by being among the top two finishers in spelling bees at their respective elementary and middle schools.
The full list of participants include Madison Gentry and Reese Wappenstein (Eaton Bruce Elementary), Evelyn Cole and Hunter Webb (Eaton Middle School), Kenley Adams, Lyndi Deaton and Luke Vernon (National Trail Elementary), Dillion Graves (National Trail Middle School), Kasydy Johnson and Evan Shields (Preble Shawnee Intermediate School), Madelyn Bourne and Jacob Slade (Preble Shawnee Middle School), Gabe Corder and Aiden Ritter (Tri-County North Elementary), Davis Brunk and Kasidi Daugherty (Tri-County North Middle School), Ainsley Mabry and Devin Spencer (Twin Valley South Elementary), and Zion Gade and Lilly Wharton (Twin Valley South Middle School).
Compared to last year’s contest, which featured 24 rounds and 182 words spelled, the contest was stiffer this year, with words more routinely tripping students up.
Some of the more challenging words included roiling, proffered, carrion, disconsolate, primavera and Genghis. Of the 19 participants, 10 fell in the second round, and a top three had been determined heading into round four.
“They were tough words,” Baker said.
He noted that this the first event Preble ESC had been able to host since last year.
“This is actually our first big event since last year.
“We were so thankful to have it,” he said. “We have this and then we’re going to have our Geography Bee coming up on April 15. So, this was really our first attempt to try to get back out there and normalize and get back. We’re so happy we were able to do it.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles