PCS wins the JCJC Bobcat Math League’s Super Bowl

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2013-11-22 15:38:42

ELLISVILLE – Twice the Presbyterian Christian team faced and beat the 2012 Bobcat Math League Champions, Stringer and West Jones, before reaching the Super Bowl round of playoff competition with Lawrence County High School. While Stringer just missed the final match by one correct answer, math teacher and coach of the team, Michelle Green said she’s still very proud of the students.
 “I have a young team made up of all sophomores, and to be so young without any advanced math classes, it is amazing for them to do so well. It speaks to their desire to compete because they did great!”
The PCS Bobcat team, comprised of three seniors, three sophomores and a freshman, were relentless and seemingly determined in their pursuit to capture the title.  The Lawrence County team beat out Richton, Sacred Heart and faced Richton again, in the semi-finals to make their first appearance in the Bobcat Math League’s Super Bowl of Math.
“It’s fun to compete using different skills like intelligence,” said Mallory Vial of Presbyterian Christian. She was named the MOP or Most Outstanding Player of the League for scoring the highest percentage of correct answers in the regular season. The senior received a laptop from Howard Industries as her prize.
Lawrence County’s Ben Rushing found himself in second place in the MOP race and in the All-League Team.  Other members of the All-League Team include: Alicia Brown of PCS, Chris Anderson of Stringer, Morgan Woodard of PCS, Austin Phillips of Stringer and Sam Lucas of PCS. These students had the highest percentage of correct answers in the regular season. Rushing said he’s grateful for the experience and believes the team has represented their school well in the playoffs and during the six-week regular season. Twenty teams competed within divisions before reaching post season competition.
“It’s been amazing to compete in something as challenging as the Bobcat Math League,” said Rushing.
For the first time, the Cougars managed to beat their rivals in the playoffs for the chance to play in the Super Bowl of Math, however they knew it wasn’t going to be easy beating their division foe, Presbyterian Christian. PCS struck first on the buzzer and put points on the board. By the tenth question, PCS distanced themselves by 20 points until the sixteenth question when Lawrence County’s Rushing and Chance Turnage turned up the heat and narrowed the lead to nine points in two rounds to, 40-49. PCS’s Vial, Morgan Woodard and Alisha Brown answered back in the eighteenth round scoring nine points and pushing PCS to an 18-point lead with a score of 58-40. The Cougar’s Rushing and Turnage tried to pull ahead scoring seven points but the Bobcat team got the last word in on the twentieth question, scoring nine more points and ending the competition with a score of 67-47.
“This was my first year competing,” said Woodard. “I want to be a pharmacist so I know using my math skills in this competition will help me in college.”
PCS math teacher and team sponsor, Melissa Brown said she was happy the team managed to reach this pinnacle.
“I am excited beyond belief! This is a great opportunity for math students to practice advanced math skills to help reinforce what they’ve learned. JCJC’s Math League is the only true competition in this area.”
Vial’s mother, Celeste said she is thankful for academic competitions like this too.
“Kids grow by applying their skills as they work the math problems and they use all of their skills. I’m very appreciative of the sponsors and I’m impressed with the coordinators of the competition. This can’t help but benefit kids.”
Vial’s son Daniel was also a member of the PCS math team and took part in the one-day math competition held at Jones before the development of the Math League format of competition.
Math League supporter and Laurel realtor, Chris Wilson helped to develop the new format, hoping to create some competition amongst the region’s teams and improve math scores. He is responsible for rallying donors like Mississippi Power, Corner Market, Joe Sanderson and Sanderson Farms, Dominos, Howard Industries, Sandra Wright of Magnolia Reality, Alexander’s Hardware and the Chisholm Foundation to support the Bobcat Math League. He 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 as well as the sponsors.
“Every match was an important win for their future. Their ACT scores improve and ‘Pie’ (the math symbol), really does equal money,” said Wilson.
In fact, each of the eight teams will take home some cash. The PCS team will divide $2,500 and their coach will receive $2,500. Lawrence County mathletes will split $1,500 and their coach will be awarded $1,500. The two teams tying for third place, Stringer and Richton, each earned $1,000 to split with their teammates and their coaches will get $1,000. Tying for fifth place, Sacred Heart and Northeast Jones’s teams all earned $1,000 each to share with their teammates and their teachers get $1,000 each. West Jones and Taylorsville tied for seventh  place and each team received a $500 cash prize for their team members to divide and their teachers each received $500.
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, and for believing in the mission and goals of the Bobcat Math League. For more information about Jones County Junior College’s Bobcat Math League, contact Jessica Bunch (JCJCBobcat Math LeagueCommissioner) at 601-477-5422.


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