Schubbe secures victory in spelling bee round 7
The Pine River-Backus School District Spelling Bee was neck and neck for three rounds before the first contestant was eliminated with the word “pastel,” after which the contestants began falling like dominoes.
Grade 6 representative Brady Kilchesky came to a “logical” end when he spelled it “logically,” and grade 7 contestant Travis Tschida met his match when he stumbled over “stubble,” both in round four.
Grade 5 representative Ian Newbold fought the good fight against a “gorgon” in round four but lost his “morale” in round five to be quickly followed by grade 6 speller George Davidson with “talisman.” Meanwhile grade 8 representative Megan Schubbe tackled “mugwump” (from Harry Potter and the 1884 Republican dissident party of the same name) without slowing down.
The pace seemed to be slowing when only Morgan Becker of grade 8 was “expunge(ed)” in round six.
The competitors suffered heavy eliminations in round seven, which began when returning 2013 champ Torry Hirschey couldn’t overcome the “bulwark.” Losses continued with five of the remaining six competitors falling to such words as “lanai,” “pontiff,” “nigh,” and “betrothal.”
By the end of the round, Schubbe was the only one left standing, having conquered the word “shiatsu.”
Schubbe’s victory was not guaranteed. If she did not spell her round seven word correct, then those eliminated in round six would return to the game. When Schubbe received her final word, “grouse,” the crowd reacted audibly. Schubbe didn’t miss a step and was declared the 2014 Pine River-Backus spelling bee champ.
Schubbe received a Dairy Queen gift certificate and a subscription to Encyclopedia Brittanica online and will advance to compete in the Lakes Spelling Bee at 1:30 p.m. March 6 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.
Travis Grimler can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @PEJ_Travis.