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Press Release- Students turn Wordplay into Scholarship Money at Vocabulary Tournament

May 7th, 2009 | by admin

On Sunday, March 1st 2009, 21 high school students from across the St. Louis region raced to name synonyms and antonyms to win college funds in the first Verbal Volley Showdown scholarship tournament. The students competed one-on-one while playing the SAT/ACT prep version of Verbal Volley. Three single elimination rounds narrowed the field to three finalists. The finalists played a round robin tournament on the stage of the Maryville University Auditorium, while four judges moderated play and awarded points. Mindfull Games awarded scholarship funds of $1000, $700 and $500 to the top finishers. Maxine Clark of Build-A-Bear Workshop donated student bears and gift certificates to the six semi-finalists.  The scholarship winners were: Champion- Will Hack, senior at Parkway Central High School, Second Place-Kelly Lamarche, sophomore at Lafayette High School, and Third Place-Antonio Sanchez, senior at Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School. Each student will be able to apply the funds to the college or university of his or her choice. Mindfull Games and Maryville University sponsored the tournament. “I loved the tournament,” said Champion Will Hack. “Words are my strong suit…I will be attending Michigan State in the fall to study political science. Kelly and Antonio were amazing. In another world, I would have lost to both of them.”

Kelly Lamarche, the youngest finalist, plans to study animal sciences or pre-veterinary studies.  Kelly said the tournament was “a lot of fun!  Preparing for this tournament was the first time I have done any practice for the ACT and SAT at home.  My vocabulary has increased tremendously, and I find that I understand the texts much more, not only for my English class, but also for my social studies and science classes.”