Pippin wins County Spelling Bee; over twenty students face off in Saco
February 17, 2021
A total of 23 Students between five Phillips County Schools attended the 2021 Phillips County Spelling Bee, and it was the word television that ultimately won the competition.
The event, which featured a COVID-19 compliant atmosphere set in the Saco Public School Gymnasium was won by Saco eighth-grader Carter Pippin. Whitewater fifth-grader, Rory Green was the event's runner up. Third place went to Saco's Laynee Simpson.
"I had no approach at all," Pippin told the PCN after his win. "I just went there with an empty mind essentially."
The event ended with a little suspense, as Pippin misspelled a word in the 11th round, giving Green a chance to win the event. Green then misspelled his winning attempt.
Pippin was given the word "Flamingo," which he spelled correctly. Then, to win the event, Pippin was given the word "Television," which he spelled correctly. Pippin was asked how he felt about the word selection for the competition.
"It felt unbalanced," Pippin said. "Some were five letter words and some were pretty hard."
Some of the words that stumped competitors were calzone, omen, scald, galaxy, and haven.
Pippin had won the school spelling bee in previous years, but never the County Bee. He joins the list of Saco students, who have won the County crown, including Valarie Barton (1977), Kayla Gairett (2007), and Justin Fun (2008, 2011.)
The Pippin family has been going through a lot this school year, so Carter's win is definitely timely.
"It feels really good," Pippin said. "I am excited to tell my brother, Chayten, and all of my family members that I won."
Being that Pippin will graduate from middle school this year, he left with words of wisdom for those who may be the next champion in 2022.
"Don't come here thinking that you are going to win it all just because you studied," Pippin said. "Come into the Spelling Bee or any other thing confident and ready."
Also competing in the event were Malta Elementary students Hoyt Mahan, Regan Stuart, Jeremy Scott, Britallia Drabbels, and Klohie Zeiger. Whitewater School students included R. Green, who won the school's championship, Sommer Green, Austin Hanley, Samuel Simonson, and Kennedy Simonson. Saco School Students included Pippin, Saco Champion Chase Albus, Laynee Simpson, Laytin Erickson, and Sandra Sones. Malta Middle School students were Branton Moore, Sadie Branham, MacKayla Bachmeier, David Schaldack, and Grace Schaffer. East Malta Colony students included Austin Hofer, Jacob Hofer, and Chloe Hofer. Dodson Public School was unable to attend due to COVID restrictions.
Because Green was a school champion who made it to the championship at the county level, his word total will be compared to scores around the state.