Rutland Middle Student Eyes Spelling Bee State Title
Junus Searcy is one of the state's top spellers. The Rutland Middle School seventh grader is heading to the state competition for a shot at nationals.
Junus has the credentials, previously competing in four county spelling bees, three regionals, and is now heading to Atlanta for the second time. Last year Junus came up a little short, finishing in the top seven, but this year has plans to go to the top.
"I think I can do it," said Searcy. "I believe in myself."
His spelling competitiveness began when he was in the third grade after witnessing a fourth grader lose to a fifth grader.
Searcy was not intimidated, in fact he was a little ambitious.
"After seeing that I was like 'I bet I can beat that person,'"said Searcy. "I said I will try out next year and I tried out and I won."
All because of hard work and the help of mom. Every night Junus and his mom, Josephine Searcy, spends at least one hour studying.
"He's like a sponge, he absorbs them(words)," said Josephine.
Admitting that sometimes he exceeds her expectations.
"He surprises not only me, but a whole lot of other people," said Josephine. "Yes he does and I'm so proud of him."
Before and after every word, Junus spots his mother in the crowd looking for that thumbs up. After Friday's competition, Junus and his mother hopes to return to Rutland Middle School victorious.
If victorious, Junus will head to Washington D.C. for the National Spelling Bee which will air on ESPN. Junus says he likes the thought of being on TV.