Spell Bowl heads to State

Students spelling hard to reach their goals

Anna Eggers, Staff writer

Ben Davis High School’s Spell Bowl team is going to State this Saturday after a successful season that included multiple first place spots at tournaments. Although this is only the new team’s second year, they’ve gathered a skilled group of spellers who have had amazing experiences in spell bowl.

“I joined spell bowl because I used to spell back in my country Nigeria, but just in another form,” senior Janet Oluwayomi said.

“I’ve always been really good at spelling, plus it’ll look good on college applications,” senior Amari Warren said.

Part of their success is not only their drive to be good spellers, but also the practice plan that their coach and Ben Davis’s debate teacher Gary Peters has guided them through. It’s a rigorous schedule with lots of spelling.

“We go through the words and our teacher gives us words he thinks would be hard for us,” junior Makayla Reedus said.

“We basically spell at least 50 words per practice and maximum of 80 words if the coach gives quizzes, we also listen to pronunciation of the words,” Oluwayomi said.

The hard work they’ve put in throughout the season has proven itself to be worth it as the team looks forward to going to State this weekend. The Ben Davis Spell Bowl team went to State 32 years ago when the Academic Spell Bowl was created, but since then has not had a team until Peters decided to bring it back, better than ever. Still, the students are excited but nervous as they go into their final tournament of the year.

“I am so ecstatic to have the opportunity to go to state because we are literally making history. We are definitely nervous since there is a lot of pressure,” senior Faiza Qureshi said.

Although State is a looming reality they will try their best to win, looking back at the season they had helps make all of the stress they have now worth it.

“[My favorite memory is] the bus is always silent on the way to a competition because people are studying but it’s always the opposite on the way back,” Oluwayomi said.

Bus rides to tournaments show the dedication of this team. Studying on the way and saving their celebrations and fun for when they come back gives them a mature and hardworking demeanor as a team, which makes certain memories of disappointments not seem like bad memories.

“When we won third at Homestead, because everyone was like, upset, but after that we started winning first place again and again,” Warren said.

Coming back from a result that was less than what you were hoping for always gives you the motivation to come back harder than before. More memories were made after Homestead, when the students began to believe they would be continuing to State.

“Riding back on the bus from Regionals, we were really happy because our score was higher than the rest of the teams, and we just knew were gonna make State,” Reedus said.

As we find out the results of their tournament this weekend, take some of the teammates advice and consider joining the team next year. Not only does it look good on college applications and helps you improve your vocabulary, but it also is highly rewarding. For now, good luck at State for these spellers.