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FINALISTS: Indian Springs M.S. to send spellers to state showdown

October 31, 2013

Dennis Beckner (right) trains a team of spellers for the Indiana state spell bowl competition Nov. 16. Indian Springs Middle School’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 — Competition doesn’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.

“We’ve had a record-setting year,” said ISMS Coach Dennis Beckner. “We 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.”

Since Beckner took over the team in 2006, ISMS has logged several conference titles, as well as area championships.

But it’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.

To read the rest of this story, see the Oct. 31 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.

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