Last updated: June 01. 2013 1:21PM - 531 Views
David Broyles
Civitas News Service

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PILOT MOUNTAIN — Surry County’s Middle School Battle of the Books competition opened Tuesday at Pilot Mountain Middle School with teams from Pilot Mountain, Gentry, Central Middle and Meadowview Middle squaring off to show their knowledge of literature.

Pilot Middle placed first in the event with Central Middle School in second, Gentry Middle was third and Meadowview finished fourth.

“This is a great competition,” commented Battle of the Books Coordinator Donna Bledsoe. “They have to read all the books from our list as well as answer very specific questions. It’s very competitive, but the kids really love reading. It’s a great chance for them to be a role model for their peers.”

She paraphrased Mortimer Jerome Adler’s sentiment that the point of good books is not how many one can get through but how many can get through to a person.

“I believe this sums up this competition well,” added Bledsoe. “The students all read 27 books and were able to recall details from each one in competition this morning. In the end, it is not about winning but about attaining a life-long love of reading and learning. Each of these students demonstrated great success today and showed not only the ability to compete but also to collaborate with their peers. The characteristics they demonstrated in order to compete this morning will be life skills that we help them achieve long into their future. We are very proud of each team.”

Information supplied by the system indicates Pilot Mountain has won the district competition for five consecutive years. In 2010 and 2011, they also won the Region 7 competition. Pilot placed second at the state competition after a tiebreaker round for first place in 2010 and won the state in 2011. Regionals will be held at the Statesville Civic Center on April 22 at 9 a.m. for the Surry County Schools champion team.

“Rene Mosley, coach of Pilot Middle, has made winning Battle of the Books second nature,” commented Bledsoe. “She continues to coach her teams to excellence among our district, region and the state.”

Much of the reading and teams practicing began in November of 2012. Books on the local team’s reading list include Airborn by Kenneth Oppei, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis, Storm Warriors by Elisa Carbone and White Fang by Jack London.

Pilot Mountain Middle team member J.T. Tarn has been involved with Battle of the Books for three years and said he still enjoys the competition. Tarn also plays football and is a wrestler.

“I started in my sixth-grade year,” recalled Tarn. “I was the only sixth-grader on the team. It was an interesting experience. I really like reading though and I was in the Million Word Club in elementary school.”

Students on the Pilot Middle team were Austin Burton, Anthony Fulp, Elena Heath, Abby Key, Nathaniel McGraw, Elizabeth Porter, Abigail Robertson, Katarina Sechrist, Nathan Sheets, J.T. Tarn, Cassidy Torrey and Jayne Willard. The Central Middle team members were Mckenzie Boyles, Emma Childress, Emma Hernandez, Amy Hinson, Polly Kreh, Olivia Lane, Ryan Martin, David Meyer, Sarryn Meyer, Katelynn Shinault, Lela Shinault and Teresa Vazquez.

The Gentry Middle team members were Karleigh Badgett, Citally Chaire, Sydni Coason, Carson Draughn, Emma Haynes, Kelly Hunsucker, Kaleb Hunter, Korrine McHone, Isaac Phipps, Allyni Tate, Brianna Voland and Grant Whittington. The Meadowview Middle School team was composed of Nidhi Borad, Maddy Boyer, Marcos Castillo, Aashton Day, Emily Edwards, Jonah Edwards, Jordan Edwards, Zion Greene, Vanessa Hernandez, Jake Lawson, Dakota Queen and Hannah Terrell.

Central Middle’s team was coached by Lisa Crede, Emily Dollyhite and Tracey Poindexter. Mary Cowles, Tamara Osburn and Shannon Snow coached Gentry Middle’s team. Amy Edwards coached Meadowview Middle School, and Rene Mosley was the coach for Pilot Mountain Middle. Dana Draughn and Janet Sutphin served as moderators. Other coordinators for the event included Bledsoe, Amber Flippen and Assistant Principal Dustin Webb.

Reach David Broyles at dbroyles@civitas.com or 719-1952.

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