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Spelling Bee champ repeats

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February 7, 2003

ALBANY -- "T-r-e-a-c-h-e-r-o-u-s...   Treacherous," one student spells.

Treacherous, a perfect word to describe the road ahead for the 22 contestants in Dougherty County's spelling Bee. All winners of their own school competition. But with difficult words Friday one by one they fell until there were only two.

They were Jamie Temples of Sherwood and defending champ and youngest ever winner of the third through eighth-grade competition, now fifth grader Malcolm Knox.  They went back and forth until it looked like Knox might forfit his title.

"Wrapper," he spelled, but a judge said "that's incorrect."

"I was just thinking if it's a homonym, how'd I get it wrong," Knox said.

After protest they ruled Knox didn't miss the word and the duel went a full 12 rounds until,

"hoaker," Temples spelled. "That's incorrect, the correct spelling is," the judge started to say. "No," the crowd screamed in anguish." Knox would have to spell hawker correctlyand another word to regain his title.

"S-H-I-N-G-L-E-S," was the winning word.

"If I had a million dollars, I couldn't be happier than I am right now," Knox's dad said. "I'm just so proud of him."

As were the parents of the 21 other competitors, just for showing a devotion to spelling, reading and learning. 

Michael Knox now advances to the district competion in Moultrie where he hopes to earn a spot in the state spelling bee.

posted at 5:30 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com

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