JCJC Bobcat Math League kicks off competition at 20 schools

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2013-09-27 09:33:21

ELLISVILLE – September in the South marks the beginning of football and a similar competition, the Bobcat Math League. Jones County Junior College’s math department hosted a Kick-off luncheon for the twenty area high schools participating in the math competition which is set up like a football season.
“We’ll have six weeks of a regular season where schools in four divisions will travel to their division foes and battle it out to see who has the best mathletes,” said JCJC math instructor and League Commissioner, Jessica Bunch. 
The regular season of competition follows three weeks of pre-season competition at each of the high schools, which includes, Bay Springs, Quitman, Sylva Bay, Mize, Raleigh, Stringer, Taylorsville, Sacred Heart, Perry Central, Laurel High, South Jones, Richton, Collins, Lawrence County, Mt. Olive, Seminary, Northeast Jones, Presbyterian Christian, Wayne County and West Jones high schools.
“Sacred Heart in Hattiesburg joined the League late last season in the shoot-out portion of competition,” said Bunch. “We have other schools interested in joining the League but none were able to commit to the League before the pre-season competition began; so, hopefully they will be able to join us in next year’s competition.” 
Also new this season is a change in the format. Instead of computer based math tests for students everyone will take tests with paper and pencil for the first half of the regular season. The second half will prepare students for the final playoffs with the addition of the buzzer system and a moderator asking questions.
“This should help students better prepare for the final rounds of competition,” said Bunch. “We’ll continue to tweak the competition as needed.”
Just like in athletics, each school will choose its team based on the student’s performance during the pre-season. At the end of the regular season, four division winners and three wild card teams will advance to the playoffs. All non-qualifying teams will compete in the shoot-out competition in early November to vie for a final wild card position in the playoffs. These eight teams will then compete for cash and prizes at the playoffs in November, and the two top teams will compete in the “Super Bowl of Math” for a final competition to earn the title, “2013 JCJC Bobcat Math League Champions.”
“Teachers are the key to solving problems in our communities,” said Wilson who serves on the Economic Development Authority’s strategic planning committee and is a realtor in Laurel. “If we can get the community and businesses to support math and education like they do football we’ll see improved math scores and skills and then you’ll see a cultural change in the community.”
JCJC kicked off the season in NFL style with an extensive marketing plan to spotlight the participants and coaches in the league and to grow a fan base. Donations from the private sector and community groups have enabled the league to be very visible with the participants having the option to dress out in League T-shirts. Fans can find scores in real time, at the JCJC Bobcat Math League’s Facebook page. Our high school students and coaches can also upload photos during practices or training sessions to share with their fan base. Local newspapers and media web pages will detail the competition with weekly stories and pictures from the competition.
“Sponsors and donors like Sanderson Farms, Mississippi Power Foundation, along with many community banks and individuals have been tremendous in their support of this initiative in their communities,” said Bunch. “We see the Bobcat Math League as a foundation to get more students involved and to cultivate math skills with the hope of producing stronger college students and community leaders. As math skills are developed student’s career path options expand into fields like engineering.”
Regular season competition begins September 30, and will continue through November 5. The post-season “Shoot-Out” will be held at JCJC on November 13 with the playoffs and “Super Bowl of Math” on November 21.
Some teams to watch are last years’ winners, Stringer and 2011 and 2008 winners, Wayne County with Presbyterian Christian and Northeast Jones as perennial contenders for the trophy. 
“We hope every community will support the Bobcat Math League by establishing prizes, donations, scholarships, gas money or by simply checking scores and reading the weekly stories in the newspaper,” said JCJC VP of Instruction, Dr. Laverne Ulmer. 
Results will be posted on the JCJC Math League Scoreboard web page at: www.jcjc.edu/bobcatmathleague/
and on the Bobcat Math League Facebook page.
The champions of this year’s competition will take home cash, prizes, scholarships, and/or trophies provided by some of the math league’s current sponsors. Past and/or current sponsors of this academic endeavor include: Joe Frank Sanderson (CEO of Sanderson Farms), Sanderson Farms, the Chisholm Foundation, the EDA of Jones County, Mississippi Power Company, Community Bank, First State Bank, Magnolia Bank, Trustmark Bank, Foil-Wyatt Architects, Jefferson Medical, Sandra Wright-Magnolia Realtors, Wal-Mart, Domino’s Pizza and Corner Market. JCJC officials also hope “mathletes” will become hometown heroes as more businesses support the math league and the fan base grows. For more information about the Bobcat Math League contact Jessica Bunch (JCJC Bobcat Math League Commissioner) at 601-477-5422 or email at jessica.bunch@jcjc.edu.


More News