Forty-five students lined up Tuesday afternoon at the Mandeville Parish Church to see who would be the Manchester parish champion in The Gleaner's Children's Own Spelling Bee 2012 competition.
After an hour of competition, it was still anybody's game, but as the spelldown progressed, it was evident who wanted it most.
And just like that Ashley Ricketts emerged the winner, ahead of Calesia Spence of Mandeville Primary & Junior High School, who was determined to come out on top. But this soft-spoken student of the Knox Junior School decided in the last moment that this was hers.
"It was awesome!" beamed 11-year-old Ashley. She lauded her coach, Barrington Wilson, for her success. This is the second year in a row that Knox Junior School has won under Wilson's tutelage.
Wilson, a one-time champion, said he was "elated that Ashley came out on top". "Going forward to nationals, I hope for the best," he said.
Mother of the champion, Tracy Campbell, was quiet in her joy as she said: "I am so excited for her because we work hard."
Amid the excitement though, there were tears as Calesia broke down after spelling D-E-L-I-Q-U-E-S-C-E incorrectly.
Devastated, she said: "The last word was the best and I didn't get it."
1. Ashley Ricketts - Knox Junior School
2. Calesia Spence - Mandeville Primary & Junior High School
3. Kahli Campbell - Bishop Gibson High School
4. Jue Soultau - Mt St Joseph Prep School
5. Javaughnie Bascoe - Mandeville Primary & Junior High School
Winning Word :D-O-S-S-I-E-R