Defending champion Woodington Middle School went undefeated in head-to-head competition and led wire to wire in winning the LCPS Middle School Battle of the Books on Tuesday.
The victory was Woodington’s third in four years and seventh in the past eight years and sends the team on to regional competition on March 16 at Brunswick Community College.
Frink Middle School finished second; Contentnea-Savannah K-8, third; and Rochelle Middle School, fourth.
Battle of the Books tests students’ knowledge of books from a common reading list of 27 fiction and nonfiction titles through questions related to content. Teams square off in a round-robin format, each competing in six battles spread over two rounds.
Woodington built a 20-point lead over Frink in the first round and won by 19, never losing a contest.
What’s the secret?
“The kids – it’s all on them. They’re the ones who do the reading and know these books,” said Sherry Williams, who coaches the Woodington team with Jean Whaley.
“They have to do the hard work. We just have to do the logistics and the organization of it,” Whaley said.
During twice weekly practices, the coaches do their best to simulate battle conditions, setting up scrimmages and, with Williams as moderator, asking questions the students have culled from the books.
“Every two weeks, they have to read two books and write 10 questions for each book. It has to be in the same format as the Battle of the Books questions,” Whaley said.
Because of the rigor of practice, the team essentially forms itself. “We started out with 60,” Williams said. “They come to the meetings, but then they weed themselves out pretty quickly.”
Of the 12 who competed Tuesday, only one is an eighth grader and half are sixth graders – good news for Woodington, not so much for the competition. “We look forward hopefully to another good year,” Whaley said.
Members of the Woodington team are: Caleb Arnette, Trinity Beverly, Fernando Flores, Drew Hedrick, Maddox Jenkins, Tyasia Marbury, Lily Musulin, David Phillippe, Amedith Stroud, Isabelle Vernon, Bryan Binllasenor and Caitlin Waters. Coaches are Jean Whaley and Sherry Williams.
Members of the Frink team were: Maryland Baltazar, Elizabeth Crupe, Amanda Glen, Natalee Peede, Dezarai White, Austin Williams and Mariah Yates. Coach is Penny Dawson.
Members of the Contentnea-Savannah team were: Shykera Barrow, Emmy Campos, Rebecca Cornelison, Ryan Grant, Hannah Vann and Omaryah Vargas. Coach is Traci Banks.
Members of the Rochelle Team were: Ka’Nyah Barker, Alyseana Bell, Precious Burney, Lovell Gooding, Nicholas Harvey III, Shanauria Hassell, Madyson Horn, Nazir McIver, El’Lee Roberts, Mariela Salgado-Villa, Jakyra Simmons and Jai’len Strickland. Alternates were: Amr Albaadani, Janiya Edwards, Jordan Middleton and Elijah Powell. Coaches are Hannah Jimenez and Brenda S. Moultrie