Area school’s ‘mathletes’ compete in the finals of Super Bowl of Math

Photos By THERESA McCREERY/JCJC / Lawrence County High School team members  Shane Pennington, April Carter, Ben Rushing and Chance Turnage react to losing the Jones County Community College Bobcat Math League's Super Bowl of Math Thursday to Presbyterian Christian School.

THERESA McCREERY/JCJC / Lawrence County High School team members Shane Pennington, April Carter, Ben Rushing and Chance Turnage react to losing the Jones County Community College Bobcat Math League’s Super Bowl of Math Thursday to Presbyterian Christian School.

Lawrence County High School students’ math skills took them to the championship of the Jones County Community College Bobcat Math League’s Super Bowl of Math in Ellisville late Thursday.

For the first time, the Cougars managed to beat their rivals in the playoffs for the chance to play in the Super Bowl of Math; however they knew it wasn’t going to be easy beating their division foe, Presbyterian Christian High School.

The LCHS team beat Richton, Sacred Heart and Richton in the semi-finals and went on to come in as runner-up to PCHS. Twenty teams competed within divisions before reaching post season competition.

LCHS’s Ben Rushing found himself in second place in the Most Valuable Player race and on the All-League Team. The All-League Team students had the highest percentage of correct answers in the regular season of the math competition.

Rushing said he’s grateful for the experience and believes his team has represented their school well in the playoffs and during the six-week regular season.

“It’s been amazing to compete in something as challenging as the Bobcat Math League,” said Rushing.

Lawrence County mathletes will split $1,500 in prize winnings, and their coach, Donna Wilson, will be awarded $1,500.

Math League supporter and Laurel realtor, Chris Wilson helped to develop the new format, hoping to create some competition among the region’s teams and improve math scores.

THERESA McCREERY/JCJC / The LCHS team includes (from left, front row) Shane Pennington, April Carter, Ben Rushing, Chance Turnage, (back row) Haley Wright, Alex Poole, Jamberlyn Smith, Carrie Grace Jones, Leanna Ashley, Ryan Reeves, Emily Ashley, math coach Donna Wilson, Joy Applewhite and Trustin Henderson.

He also is responsible for rallying donors like Mississippi Power, Corner Market, Joe Sanderson and Sanderson Farms, Dominos, Howard Industries, Sandra Wright of Magnolia Reality, Alexander’s Hardware and the Chisholm Foundation to support the Bobcat Math League.

He challenged every member of the eight teams in the final playoffs to thank their parents and teachers for providing the tools to help them reach this level of competition as well as the sponsors.

“Every match was an important win for their future. Their ACT scores improve and ‘Pi’ (the math symbol), really does equal money,” said Wilson.

JCJC Bobcat Math League Commissioner Jessica Bunch and JCJC President Jesse Smith expressed their gratitude to the 20 teams from the Pine Belt for participating throughout the year in the regular season competition and believing in the mission and goals of the Bobcat Math League.

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