Stringer pulls ahead in OT winning the JCJC Math Super Bowl

Written By: Teresa Martin
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Date Submitted: 2012-11-21 13:29:49

ELLISVILLE – The determined Red Devils of Stringer managed to pull the upset over the top ranked team, the Presbyterian Christian Bobcats in overtime to win the Jones County Junior College Bobcat Math League’s Super Bowl of Math. This victory is especially sweet for the three seniors of the team and math coach, Michelle Green who managed to finally overcome the three previous years of ending the competition as ‘runner-ups.’
“During practice they ‘smoked’ me so I knew they were ready,” said Green. “I’m so proud of them because they worked so hard and these kids have not had calculus. In fact they haven’t had a math class since May, so they put in a lot of extra time preparing for this competition.”
Green said she took every book she could find and created tough questions to prepare her students. They worked so hard she said that the students missed the ‘easy’ questions during the final play-offs because they thought they were trick questions.
“We worked six hours yesterday, harder than we did in years past to prepare,” said Stringer junior, Austin Phillips. “I’m just glad we finally made it to first place.”
It wasn’t easy for Stringer during the final play-off round against PCS. Stringer correctly answered the first question of the 20-question round. PCS quickly buzzed in and answered the five point toss-up question and were able to answer the two-point bonus question, putting them ahead, 7-5. However Phillips would not let the Stringer team down and was able to push the team ahead in the sixth round. By correctly answering the questions in the next two rounds, Phillips helped to widen the margin by eight points.  It wasn’t until the ninth round that PCS senior, Nathan Lin was able to put five points on the board, and the team was able to get a two-point bonus question, putting PCS ahead, 19-15. Phillips pressed on and managed to score for Stringer again, but PCS dominated the next four rounds building its lead 33-20. Phillips was able to make up lost ground, helping to lead the Red Devils ahead until both teams were tied at 33 points. The Bobcats fired off another answer and the two teams battled it out until they were tied in the last two rounds at 43 points each.  PCS buzzed in first to incorrectly answer the tie-breaker question, leaving Stringer an opportunity to steal the win with the correct answer and breaking the ‘second-place’ three-year streak.
“It was closer than what we would’ve liked,” said Stringer senior, Tanner West.
The PCS team was a little stunned after not only winning the Pythagoras Division but also leading the League in points during the regular season. 
“It’s a little disappointing,” said Lin. “I’m amazed at how one question can make such a big difference!”
However, Lin didn’t walk away without recognition of his personal accomplishments during the regular season. As the Most Outstanding Player with the most correctly answered questions during the regular season, he was awarded a Howard computer. He along with five other players (in order of the most points), Ahran Jo from PCS, Jesse Parkman from Lawrence County, Eathan Keys from Seminary, Alex Nocera from PCS, Jesse Parkman from Lawrence County and Mary Lott from Seminary, were the top six, high-scoring students and were also named to the All-League Team. 
As a member of the second place team, Lin and his teammates will divide $1,500 and math coach Melissa Brown was also given a $1,500 cash award. PCS seniors on the team are eligible for a $300 scholarship to Jones and first-place Stringer seniors are eligible for $500 JCJC scholarships. All of the members of the top two teams were also given special medallions. The first place team members were awarded $2,500 to split, and their coach received $2,500.
“I have three daughters so they will have a nice Christmas!” said Green. 
The third through sixth place teams, Lawrence County, Northeast Jones, Richton and Seminary were each awarded $1,000 cash prizes. Quitman and South Jones were awarded $500 each.
Math League supporter and Laurel realtor, Chris Wilson 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. He added, every match was an important win for their future.
“Winning the math competition is more important than any other competition,” Wilson said. “I hope to get the chance to hire one of you, one day soon, as I'm sure many will be ready to hire you.”
JCJC Bobcat Math League Commissioner, Jessica Bunch and JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith expressed their gratitude to the 20 teams from the Pine Belt who participated throughout the year in the regular season competition, for believing in the mission and goals of the first ever Math League. They also thanked the following sponsors and community donors who provided prizes and monetary support: Joe Frank Sanderson (CEO of Sanderson Farms), Sanderson Farms, the Chisholm Foundation, the EDA of Jones County, Howard Computers, Mississippi Power Company, Sandra Wright-Magnolia Realtors, Domino’s Pizza, Corner Market and Wal-Mart.
For questions regarding Jones County Junior College’s Bobcat Math League, contact Jessica Bunch (JCJC Bobcat Math League Commissioner) at 601-477-5422.


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