Spelling bee winners should be proud of their success

As Williamstown High School’s Matthew Taylor and Marietta Middle School’s Tate Ayers prepare for their adventures in Washington, D.C., next week, the anticipation for the Scripps National Spelling Bee might very well bring a case of the nerves.

There is no need. Both young men have shown a dedication to their studies that put most of us to shame.

Their battle at the end of the Marietta Times Regional Spelling Bee in March was one for the books, with Taylor emerging as the regional champion. The back-and-forth between the two was exciting to watch, as was the camaraderie that led to Taylor’s mother telling Ayers’ mother there was a new program that could let him compete in the national bee, too.

Taylor is fueling his study with a competitive streak.

“He said if he doesn’t win this year, he’s going back next year,” his mother Tina said.

Ayers seems to be propelled by the fun of a new experience.

“I’m not worried about (the national spotlight),” he said. “It is what it is. It’s the luck of the draw, which words you get. It’s going to be exciting to meet other kids with some common interests.”

And we wish them both well as they compete, meet new people, learn new things and explore our nation’s capital.

Mid-Ohio Valley residents have twice as much to root for, this year. And whatever the outcome, both young men have shown already, they know how to spell s-u-c-c-e-s-s.

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