OMS 6th grader is county c-h-a-m-p-i-o-n

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Opp Middle School sixth grader Walker Messer certainly has the “credentials” now to attend the Alabama Spelling Bee.

Walker won the Covington County Spelling Bee Tuesday morning at Andalusia Elementary School, correctly spelling the word “credentials” in the sixth round to win the bee.

“I was a little nervous,” Walker said. “I had studied with my mom and she told me stuff to help me remember the words. I got the word ‘necessary’ (in an earlier round) and I remember studying that one. I’m excited for the chance to maybe go to Washington, D.C. (if I were to win the state bee).”

Walker advances to the Alabama Spelling Bee, which will be March 7 in Birmingham. The Alabama Spelling Bee winner will represent the state at the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee in May in Washington, D.C.

Three contestants remained at the start of the fifth round of spelling, and Walker was the only contestant to correctly spell his word — “cantata.” He then spelled “credentials” to take first place.

W.S. Harlan Elementary School fourth grader Nicholas Bedsole was the runner-up.

Other participants in the bee were: Andalusia Elementary School winner Megan Mullen, Florala Middle School winner Katherine White, Pleasant Home School elementary winner Travis Lawson and Pleasant Home School junior high winner Evan Yates. Jennifer Dansby served as pronouncer; Sandra Dendy was the county spelling bee coordinator; and Mary Avery, Vickie Ptomey and June Smith were judges.

Walker is the son of Sonny and Mandy Messer.

“We’re very proud of him,” Mandy Messer said. “He’s worked very hard.”