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Cheer on competitors in spelling bee

Posted: January 27, 2013 - 1:05am

If there were any justice in the world, Grovetown Middle School would have to call the cops Monday afternoon.

Not for anything bad; exactly the opposite. They’d need the police to direct traffic for all the people eagerly flooding the campus to watch the Columbia County Spelling Bee.

It won’t happen, but it would be great.

There are few events, perhaps other than Academic Bowl competitions (congratulations to Grovetown Middle and Stallings Island Middle students for heading to state contests this weekend) or maybe chess matches that do more to match brain against brain than a spelling bee.

They’re intimidating to even the best spellers. It’s not unusual for a student to freeze during the intense competition, or blurt out a spelling that he realizes is wrong the nanosecond it leaves his lips, all because of the nerve-frazzling tension in the quest to spell each word correctly.

Sure, we’re all geared more toward cheering physical competition. Millions will gather around their television sets next weekend to cheer on a football game involving two teams of millionaires slugging it out on the field, while the hometown kids competing Monday will be in front of a few dozen spectators, most of them family members.

In further contrast, the football fans will cheer wildly during the competition; you’ll be able to hear a pin drop during the spelling bee. But wouldn’t it be great if the applause for the winner of an intellectual contest could be just as loud?

Congratulations to those 26 Columbia County students, each a representative of an elementary or middle school, for their hard work in making it to the county’s competition.

May the best speller win.

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