Dennis Beckner (right) trains a team of spellers for the Indiana state spell bowl competition Nov. 16. Indian Springs Middle Schoolâ€™s team is the only team in the county to advance to the event. Pictured are spellers Eric Burkholder (left) and Eric Yager. Post & Mail photo / Christie Barkley
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Competition doesnâ€™t just take place on a grassy field. For Indiana Springs Middle School Spell Bowl team, competition will take place at Purdue University with pencil and paper in hand.
Middle school students recently learned that for a second year in a row, they will be spelling at the state level. This year, ISMS is the only school from Whitley County to advance, after being named conference champions Oct. 17.
â€śWeâ€™ve had a record-setting year,â€ť said ISMS Coach Dennis Beckner. â€śWe came into this year with the understanding that we were still building a strong team, but the results have been exciting. Our team has done very well.â€ť
Since Beckner took over the team in 2006, ISMS has logged several conference titles, as well as area championships.
But itâ€™s not about the win for the sixth through eighth graders. Although blue ribbons and trophies are valued, the students appreciate the overall spelling experience.
Cris Robinson, a seventh grader, is a first-year speller. He now realizes he should have joined a year earlier.
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