Edwardsburg wins first district trophyPublished 10:43am Thursday, February 25, 2010
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
Another Edwardsburg eighth grader, Andrew Shafer, carted away Cass County’s best speller trophy and a $50 savings bond while his fellow Eddies captured the first overall district trophy Wednesday afternoon at Southwestern Michigan College.
Michaela Curtis, 13, won on Feb. 24, 2009.
Edwardsburg fifth grader Haley Bumgarner finished second in Lewis Cass Intermediate School District’s 27th annual individual competition, for which 26 students in grades 5-8 qualified.
After finishing second as a sixth grader and fourth as a seventh grader, Andrew made winning his goal.
The separate fourth grade contest also went 17 rounds and was won by Dowagiac’s Christopher Moreno of Sister Lakes Elementary School.
Behind Christopher, the Chieftains came within three of Edwardsburg, 46-43, with Casssopolis (34) and Marcellus (31) trailing.
But the afternoon belonged to Edwardsburg, which swept the top four places.
Madison Pyper of Marcellus finished fifth, behind Andrew, Haley, sixth grader Kori Mecklenburg and another fifth grader, Cameron Ekanayake.
Kori won a travel Scrabble game, Cameron a Scrabble game.
Haley also won a $50 savings bond.
Cass County Historical Commission provides the prizes.
The Eddies said they have been practicing for three months.
Edwardsburg’s teams encompass two buildings, the middle school and intermediate school.
Andrew, who plays soccer, trumpet in the band and participates in Science Olympiad, slipped ahead of Haley in the 16th round by correctly spelling reminiscences, which she missed, and won on harpsichord in the 17th.
It had been between the two of them since the 10th round, when mozzarella tripped up Kori while Haley got corruptible and Andrew spelled iridescent.
The first round retired half of the field.
Six remained after the third round.
Four survived six rounds.
Cameron sat down on penchant, while Haley (pacifist), Kori (glockenspiel) and Andrew (decaffeinated) advanced.
In the 10th round, Kori stumbled on mozzarella, while Haley handled magnanimous and Andrew got rhetoric right.
The spelling bee almost ended in the 12th round, but Andrew and Haley both missed on sacrilegious.
Led by Andrew, Edwardsburg’s eighth grade team scored 44 and comfortably cruised past Marcellus (39), Cassopolis (31) and Dowagiac (28).
It consists of Andrew, Annie Makielski, Becky Oppman, Seth Andrews and Devon Wruble.
Edwardsburg was nearly upset by Marcellus in seventh grade, 38-37, with Dowagiac at 30 and Cassopolis at 27.
Members of the Eddies seventh grade squad are Camron Crennell, Derrick Cooper, Kolter Mecklenburg, Chris Passi and Jacob Edge.
Cassopolis won in sixth grade with 39, to 37 for Edwardsburg, 32 for Dowagiac and 30 for Marcellus.
The Rangers fielded Matthew Pittman, Erica Williams, Joseph Pearson, Jaleessa Garner and Destiny Franks.
Joseph’s sister, Victoria, won the county bee for Cassopolis in 2007-2008, but exited in the sixth round in 2009 and did not participate in eighth grade to perhaps become the first-ever three-time individual spelling bee winner.
“Technically, Victoria did have a three-peat,” coordinator Brian Wood, LCISD instructional services director, said last year, “because she won in fourth grade.”
Edwardsburg triumphed in fifth grade with 47, to 35 for Dowagiac, 32 for Marcellus and 24 for Cassopolis.
Fifth graders on the Eddies team were Autumn Axline, Brayden Curtis, Samuel Larey, Cameron Ekanayake and Haley Bumgarner.