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Sherman to represent Harlan Co. in state spelling bee

Abby Sherman was one of the youngest participants in the Harlan County Spelling Bee for the fourth- through eighth- grade division. However, when the competition ended, she had out-spelled her challengers in 16 rounds to earn the top honor.

Receiving a $100 cash prize, a trophy and a trip to the state spelling bee in Louisville, Sherman admits she is “a bit nervous” in advancing to represent all of Harlan County at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in March.

A fifth grader at Cumberland Elementary School, Sherman finished just in front of Black Mountain Elementary School’s Madison Combs and Evarts Elementary School’s Maria Ball, both seventh graders.

Determining the third place recipient actually required a sudden death round with Ball and two additional spellers, Makaila Riddle, an eighth grader at Harlan Elementary, and Mallory Long, a fifth grader at Rosspoint Elementary.

Sherman and Combs actually battled against each other for nine rounds with words like snorkel, synthesized, collage, spelunker, cantata, curio, confiscate, caboose, helix and pursuit.

Following the conclusion of the spelling bee, Sherman said she finds spelling to be “not hard at all.” Language arts is her favorite subject.

In addition to working on spelling in Megan Donahue’s class, Sherman said she studied at home from the booklet provided with her parents, Jarrod and Stephanie Sherman, giving her the words.

To prepare for the Kentucky Derby Spelling Bee on March 17, Sherman says she will “keep studying.”

Other participants in the spelling be were Jace Noe, a sixth grader from Cawood; Sheyenne Cantrell, a fifth grader from Green Hills; Elizabeth Nelson, a seventh grader from Harlan County Christian; Tristan Cooper, a seventh grader from James A. Cawood Elementary; and Luke Cottrell, an eighth grader from Wallins.

In the primary division of the spelling bee, Rosspoint Elementary School third-grader Brayden Morris won first place, followed by James A. Cawood Elementary School third-grader Bryson Bryant in second. Kobe Noe, a third grader at Cawood Elementary School, won third place.

Morris, the son of Steve and Tabitha Morris, says math is his favorite subject, but that he was very pleased to win the spelling bee. He admitted to being nervous prior to the start of the event, but noted after receiving his medal for winning the school spelling bee “I was fine. Once I got in the top three I was excited.”

Morris correctly spelled character after his closest challenger misspelled it. He then spelled poison to become the champion.

Others competing in the primary division were C.J. Burkhart and Jamie Delph, third grade, Black Mountain; Daniel Millis, second grade, Cawood; Gabriel Clay and Aaron Dunn, third grade, Cumberland; Jeremy Moore, and Talmadge Blair, second grade, Evarts; Gibson Wilder and David Halcomb, third grade, Green Hills; Ally Fee, third grade, James A. Cawood; Luther Gross, third grade, Rosspoint; and Ben Smith, third grade, and Adriana Rowe, second grade, Wallins.

The spelling bee is sponsored by Harlan County Farm Bureau, Agent Roger Fannin, Monticello Banking Company and Harlan County Schools.