Woodington, South Lenoir Earn 2024 Battle of the Books Titles – Neuse News

If there was a common thread running through Wednesday’s LCPS Middle School Battle of the Books and LCPS High School Battle of the Books — in addition to the dozens of students who love to read and can remember what they read — that common thread was Woodington Middle School . .

The Woodington team impressively won the 2024 high school title, remained undefeated in head-to-head play and captured the school’s 11th championship in the past thirteen games. South Lenoir won the 2024 high school championship with a seven-member team, including six freshmen. All Battle of the Books veterans play at their former high school – Woodington.

“They worked really hard all year,” South Lenoir coach Ryan Gardner said.

Only 10 points separated the top three teams in the high school match. The North Lenoir High School team finished second, with Lenoir County Early College High School in third place and Kinston High School in fourth.

In the high school competition, Woodington led wire-to-wire, leaving the three competitors to battle for second place. EB Frink Middle School finished five points ahead of Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School with Rochelle Middle School close behind.

Each year, the Battle of the Books tests students’ knowledge of books from a common reading list: this year, 20 books for middle school and 16 for high school. Teams compete in a round-robin format for 12 rounds, answering specific questions from the books’ content. Wednesday’s event took place at the Performing Arts Center on the Kinston High School campus. Sarah Stocks, the district’s MTSS coordinator, moderated the middle school scrimmage and Christel Carlyle, director of middle school education, moderated the middle school scrimmage.

Winners of the LCPS titles will advance to regional competition this spring.

Both Woodington and South Lenoir formed their teams in October and practiced weekly when schedules allowed. “We would go through the books and questions,” Gardner said. “Sometimes I would let one of them be the question reader and they would have to go against me because I was reading the books too. Usually they do a pretty good job of beating me. That is always refreshing.”

Woodington’s team combined three returning veterans with three new faces – plus a new coach. Although media coordinator Amelia Swenby was a Battle of the Books coach at a previous school, she came face to face with tradition when she came to Woodington.

“My understanding is that they have always performed very well,” she said Wednesday after her team extended its win streak.

During his recent run of success, Woodington has won the title under three different coaches and never finished worse than second. Swenby loves the W’s as much as the next coach, but she believes the true value of this league lies beyond the scoreboard.

“I love it,” she said. “I love seeing the confidence grow in students who can barely say anything and suddenly say, ‘I know this,’ and feel good about themselves. That’s my favorite part.”

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