Eastern Greene School's Scrabble team will be on the road Saturday (today) to compete in the state championship tournament at St. John Lutheran School in Indianapolis -- the first step in preparation for national tournament slated for May 3-4 in Washington D.C.
Eight teams from Eastern Greene are competing.
They include: Tucker Piedmont (7th grade) and Tristan Vincz (5th grade); Nathaniel Nolting (8th grade) and Reed Hudson (7th grade); Dylan Fuller (8th grade) and Andrew Fuller (8th grade); Dakota Abell (7th grade) and Bailey Caswell (7th grade); Abe Piedmont (6th grade) and Elena Kirts (6th grade); Casey Fizer (7th grade) and Emma Morguson (7th grade); Victorya Valentine (6th grade) and Lukas Hamm (5th grade); and Holly Fizer (5th grade) and Ben Jenness (5th grade).
Eastern Greene is planning to compete in the National School Scrabble Championship for the 11th straight year.
Club Sponsor Dinah Fuller plans to send four, two-person teams to the nationals.
"Competing in this tournament is a prerequisite for going on to the National School Scrabble Championship. Students need to have experience playing five-plus games in a day, understand how to use a time clock, and have endurance." Fuller said. "We are sending eight teams to state - more than we have in previous years. It is very exciting to have all four grade levels at Eastern Greene Middle School represented this year. There are quite a few strong fifth-grade players. If they stick with it, we should have some dynamite teams for the next few years."
Last year, the Eastern Greene squad had a team place seventh, which was the school's best showing in six previous National School Scrabble Championship events.
Eastern Greene player Lily Haines partnered with Cooper Komatsu, who is a student in Los Angeles, Calif., who did not have a Scrabble team at his school, to finish seventh overall -- the first time an Eastern Greene team member has cracked the Top 10. National tournament organizers requested the pairing.
Previous best finishes for the Eastern Greene wordmasters have been 12th place in 2006 and 13th place in 2007.