Richton beats Wayne County to play in JCJC’s Bobcat Math League Playoffs

Written By: Teresa McCreery
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Date Submitted: 2013-11-15 13:28:18

ELLISVILLE – Two very determined teams faced-off in the final round of the Jones County Junior College Bobcat Math League Shootout, with the so called, Richton “Underdogs” winning the last Wild Card spot in the end. On the last question of the match, the second-seeded, Richton Rebels beat the number-one seeded Wayne County War Eagles, 22-26.  The Wayne County team had the opportunity to steal the win when Richton’s Ava Calvert incorrectly answered the fifteenth question. However a wrong answer from Wayne County’s Holly Ford ended the game with Richton keeping the lead and the win.

“I’m disappointed. I wish I could have answered more questions,” said Ford, the team’s captain. “This is the second year it came down to the last question and we lost.”  Wayne County won her freshman year, the inaugural year of the original Math Quiz Bowl in 2008, but lost to Northeast Jones last year in the inaugural year of the Bobcat Math League. 

Across the room, the Richton team almost seemed just as stunned to have upset the first-ranked team. Senior and team captain, Timera Brown has competed for the last three years and credits the team’s coach, Laura Gray for their success.

“She makes us feel like we know the complicated math and she wants the best for us. Mrs. Gray gives us all kinds of help.”

Teammate Ava Calvert also gave credit to their coach. “We got this for Mrs. Gray.  She wouldn’t let us settle for less.  She makes us feel like anything is possible, so we wouldn’t be intimidated by a big school like Wayne County.  People underestimate us all the time! Beating Wayne County is a boost to our confidence. ”

Both teams had to overcome “Shootout” contenders in order of rank, South Jones, Quitman, Raleigh, Laurel, Seminary, Sylva Bay, Mt. Olive, Bay Springs, Mize and Collins.

During the regular season, the Richton team had a tough time in their division with a 1-3 record, missing an automatic berth in the Playoffs to their Fibonacci Division winner, Northeast Jones.  Wayne County was second in points in that same division but beat the Rebels during the regular season. Gray said that’s what made winning extra special.

“It feels good winning after they beat us earlier in the year. I’m proud of the students because they worked so hard. Our administration supports us but the students had to put in some extra time to prepare on their own.” 


Wayne County senior Holly Ford said, “The Math League has been very beneficial for me because I haven’t had any math classes since the first semester of my junior year of high school.  This competition keeps calculus in my head because I’ll have to remember it for college.” Ford has already been offered engineering scholarships but has plans to be an orthodontist.  She added, “Intelligence is way more important than athletics and it will get you farther in a career.”


Mt. Olive math coach, Carolyn Nelson said she has seen a vast improvement in her students who have participated in the JCJC Bobcat Math League.  “They were lacking confidence and were nervous at first.  However they are learning from their mistakes and doing very well.”  The Pirates entered the Shootout as the ninth-seed team.


JCJC will hold the Playoffs between the top four division winners and the four wild card teams, Thursday, November 21, in JCJC’s Home and Health Auditorium beginning at 8:30 a.m. Presbyterian Christian won its division and is the top ranked team, facing the eighth-place West Jones team, who was the Newton Division Winner. Wild Card winners, Lawrence County will meet Richton, the seventh ranked team. Two Wild Card teams, the third ranked Sacred Heart and the sixth-seeded Taylorsville will face off on Thursday.  Einstein Division Winner and fourth-ranked Stringer will try to outscore Fibonacci Division Winner, and the fifth place, Northeast Jones team.


The public is invited to cheer on their home team and watch the playoffs and “Super Bowl” at this free event.  Cash prizes, scholarships, and trophies will be awarded to the winners of the final phase of competition.



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