Spell Bowl team finishes strong season
A gallant effort was made by the Portage High School Spell Bowl team as it finished the season coming in third place in the area competition. This year was an improvement because last year Portage came in sixth place in the same competition.
Spell Bowl is a national academic competition involving ten rounds of nine words. The best out of 90 words spelled correctly wins the tournament.
The Spell Bowl team began practicing on the first day of school and ended on Oct. 15. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the participants practiced up to three hours per week after school. They had practice tournaments and categorized hyphenated and capitalized words.
This was the second year that freshman English teacher Amy Burke was the team sponsor. According to Burke, the team’s leading spellers were sophomores Camden Barnes, Emily Vahary and Paige Dickey. In Dickey’s opinion, her hardest word to spell was schottische.
“The best memory was getting third place at the regional meet because we have never done that well before,” Dickey said.
Spell Bowl first competed at Merrillville High School for an invite. Later in the season, it competed at Portage High School for the all-area tournament. There was also individual performance recognition in each round.
Next year, Burke hopes to take the Spell Bowl team to state.
“I will remember the team’s dedication and desire to do well. They were an extremely devoted bunch of kids who I enjoyed spending time with,” Burke said.