AJHS student ropes Spelling Bee victory

Published 6:00 am Monday, March 3, 2008

For most people, the word “lariat” means a rope used as a lasso.For Alisia Williams, though, it meant victory.

After 15 grueling rounds of competition Thursday night at LipseyMiddle School, Williams correctly spelled the word to win theLincoln County Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee.

“It feels goods. I didn’t think I was going to win; everybodywas really good,” said Williams, a seventh-grader at AlexanderJunior High School, after the event.

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Williams was one of four participants in the bee, which wassponsored by The DAILY LEADER. Other participants included CampNewcomb, from Bogue Chitto School; Kaitlyn Boyles, from BrookhavenElementary School; and Alecia Garretson, from Lipsey School.

As the winner, Williams will now travel to Jackson to competewith 81 other county winners at the Mississippi State Spelling Beeto be held March 25. The statewide bee is to be televised byMississippi Public Broadcasting.

Williams, the daughter of David and Tracey Williams, said she isvery excited for the chance to compete at a higher level ofcompetition. The winner of the statewide contest will travel toWashington, D.C. to compete in the 81st Scripps-Howard NationalSpelling Bee held May 28 and 29.

Williams earned every correctly spelled word through hardwork.

“For the past few years I haven’t really made it to the countylevel,” Williams said. “But this time I just studied really hardand didn’t watch that much television and I put it on a list fortop priority.”

Her studying technique was made easier by a package she receivedthat had a large packet of 500 words in it.

“I studied about 400 of them. But, there were some I didn’t getto,” Williams said.

In fact, the winning word was one of the few she had not gottento.

“I really didn’t know if I could spell it. I didn’t go over itin the packet of words. I was just really surprised when (thejudges) said yes,” the relieved Williams said.

Williams, who has participated in four spelling bees, keepscontinuing because she likes the challenge .

“I like the words that end in ‘ous.’ They tend to be easierbecause they sound exactly like they are spelled,” Williams saidwhile discussing her favorite words to spell.