JCJC’s Bobcat Math League teams adjust to new season of competition

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2016-09-16 03:46:46

ELLISVILLE – Most of the teams seem to easily adjust to the changes in the first week of Jones County Junior College Bobcat Math League’s regular season of competition.  Perennial power-house teams like Oak Grove, Presbyterian Christian and the 2015 BML Champions, Sacred Heart all seem to be able to keep their winning ways in this first week of competition.  The fifth season of competition has only 16 teams compared to 26 teams fighting for the top honor. With six members returning this season, Northeast Jones math coach, Kim Ishee said this new season may present some new challenges. 

“I don’t know if the number of teams is going to affect us.  What will make a bigger difference is the wide range of non-math and science questions.”

This year, BML Commissioner Jessica Bunch announced the addition of STEM or science, technology, engineering and math type of questions to the weekly test of high school student’s skills. Since none of the participating schools are considered “STEM” based the additional questions will be new for everyone. 
“The JCJC Math Division felt the need to extend the scope of the competition to cover areas beneficial to students, giving them experience in a broader range of fields. Additionally, the math division’s discussions with BML’s industry and professional supporters agreed to add STEM questions. Fifty-five percent of the questions will be math-related.”
The new format and realignment of teams and division didn’t seem to faze Oak Grove this first week.  In fact, math coach Whitney Necessary said with six team members returning from last year and with the right attitude, winning will come.
“I feel that the addition of questions from science, technology and engineering will make this year much more difficult, but I think our students like the challenge and they like that they are learning new things.  We look forward to the test!” said Necessary. 
That positive outlook worked for the Warriors of Oak Grove.  They earned a big, 71 to 21 point win against the Quitman Panthers, as well as the Pythagoras Division Leader status.  West Jones’ Mustangs stomped on the War Eagles of Wayne County, 40 to 28, to land in second place under the Warriors in the division. 
The 2015 BML Champions, Sacred Heart Crusaders proved they were still going to be a tough competitor, even with only two players returning from last year’s team.  The Crusaders are Galileo Division leaders after trampling over the Wayne County Jaguars, 50 to 26. In a nail-biter, the Lions of Raleigh managed to narrowly get past the Sylva Bay Saints, 25 to 24. Even though the Saints loss the first match, math coach Jim Liljeberg is still optimistic about the season.
“We have several new and returning players this season.  After our first game, my players commented that we scored more points this year than we ever have in the past.  We are very excited and hope to continue to do well against the competition this season,” said Liljeberg.
Easily winning the first game, the Presbyterian Christian Bobcats are leading in the Archimedes Division.  The South Jones Braves were unable to overpower the Bobcats losing 26 to 50.  Richton’s Rebels also struggled against another perennial winning team, the Northeast Jones Tigers.  In the end, the Tigers slaughtered the Rebels, 45 to 29. 
In the Gates Division, a cat-fight ensued between the Columbia Academy Cougars and the Collins Tigers.  The Cougars managed to claw their way to the win beating the Tigers, 38 to 26. The Laurel Tornados proved to be a little too much for the Perry Central Bulldogs.  Laurel won the match, 34 to 32.
Some new faces are amongst the Most Outstanding Player honor this season. All six of the following students achieved an 80 percent accuracy rate for their answers to tie for the MOP honor: Parker Cruise from Northeast Jones; Sarah Greer of Oak Grove; Allen Huang of Oak Grove; Alexandria Seals of Laurel; Savannah Smith of Northeast Jones and Sohbian Thriffley of Oak Grove.
Teams to watch include the four teams in the Gates Division who may see new leaders after next week’s matches. The other division teams will have a tough time knocking off their division leaders who have proven to be fierce mathletes.
For more information about the Bobcat Math League contact Dr. Jessica Bunch (JCJC Bobcat Math League Commissioner) at 601-477-5422 or email at jessica.bunch@jcjc.edu. 


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