Church Hill Intermediate student earns county Spelling Bee title in RMS 'Cathedral'

Jeff Bobo • Updated Nov 5, 2018 at 12:13 PM

ROGERSVILLE -—Rogersville Middle School's auditorium might be a “cathedral" to Church Hill Intermediate student Caleb Massengill after he avoided being “disappointed” and won the 2018 Hawkins County Spelling Bee.

RMS hosted the annual Hawkins County Spelling Bee this week in the school auditorium, where school Spelling Bee champions from Mooresburg to Mount Carmel convened to compete for the district title.

The contest was down to the final four when Massengill survived “mistletoe,” which had just knocked out Carters Valley's Alex Brown and Bulls Gap's Kiera Johnson, who tied for third.

Massengill and Church Hill Middle School's Kirkland Dunn then went head-to-head against each other for four rounds, correctly spelling “punctual,” “sheriff,” “heroic,” “orchard,” “pioneer,” “elephant,” “telescope” and “disappointed.”

After Massengill correctly spelled “disappointed,” Dunn was tripped up by “cathedral,” which Massengill was then able to spell correctly to take the title.

The field stayed pretty full for the first five rounds, but it started getting tougher in round six when “patio" put out two players in a row.

Other words that put contestants out included “quarter,” “mule,” “telephone,” “apology” and “elegant.”

Massengill will represent Hawkins County in the Regional Spelling Bee in Knoxville in March.

The other school champions who competed at RMS Thursday were: Zoe Walker from Mooresburg Elementary, Myka Law from McPheeters Bend Elementary, Liahna Dockery from Church Hill Elementary, Isaac Jennings from Mount Carmel Elementary, Michael Knight from St. Clair Elementary, Jackson Fritts from Surgoinsville Elementary, Natale Benedetto from Surgoinsville Middle, Sherry Fields from Clinch, and Xavier Lindsey from Hawkins Elementary.

School champions who were unable to attend Thursday's county championship included Kameron Wallace from Bulls Gap School, Cassidy Benton from Keplar Elementary, and Mason Bradley from Rogersville Middle.