Just imagine the anxiety crawling through the Penn Spell Bowl team, as the last word was being scribbled on a thin sheet of paper. Before this word, Penn had a score of 89. This one word could either make or break the possibility for a perfect score of 90.

Under the lights of Purdue University’s Loeb Auditorium, a grueling 2-hour competition took off on Saturday, November 15th.

Penn’s 10 champion spellers spelled all 9 of their given words flawlessly in their allotted 15 seconds to do so.

The entire competition was carried out through pencil and paper, as every spell bowl meet is. Given the nature of this academic activity, there isn’t much of a ‘defense’ to be had. The only thing you can do to really win is to get that perfect score that the Penn Spell Bowl team strives for in every competition.

“It’s a matter of practical necessity that we are perfect in state finals, otherwise we lose.” says spell bowl coach, Pete DeKever.

And when that perfect score mattered most, the Kingsmen pulled through. They tied with the Martinsville Artesians with a perfect score of 90, becoming co-champions of the 2014 title.

Other area schools also competed well as Goshen scored a 64 in class 1, while John Glenn won class 2 with a score of 86. New Prairie came in second in class 2 with a score of 85.

Penn's champion Spell Bowl team
Penn’s champion Spell Bowl team

Perfect spellers for Penn were Michelle Tapp, Athreya Sundaram, Muqsit Buchh, Kanika Arora, Ari Kirsch, Presto George, Max Kirsch, Faihaan Arif, Chris Yun and Disha Waghray.

On the road to state, the team also won 6 invitational meets.

Great job on a fantastic season, Kingsmen!

You can find this information in the South Bend Tribune article found here.

By Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty teaches English and Mass Media Studies at Penn High School. He advises the Penn News Network and manages the PNN Studio and news room. For more information, navigate your browser to www.massmediastudies.net.