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Edgefield County children enjoy Sudoku tournament

Posted: February 14, 2012 - 6:45pm  |  Updated: February 22, 2012 - 1:17am
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Merriwether Elementary third-grader Sam Feyan works on a puzzle at Edgefield County's districtwide Sudoku tournament. Sam was the first-place finisher in the competition, which was held Thursday at his school.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Merriwether Elementary third-grader Sam Feyan works on a puzzle at Edgefield County's districtwide Sudoku tournament. Sam was the first-place finisher in the competition, which was held Thursday at his school.

A Merriwether Elemen­tary School third-grader won the Edgefield County school district’s inaugural
Sudoku tournament Thurs­day.

Sam Feyan was one of about 60 pupils in third through fifth grades from the district to compete at Merri­wether Elementary in front of teachers and family members.

Sam did a lot of Sudoku puzzles to get prepared for the event and has become fond of them.

“I just like math,” the 9-year-old said.

He said he was a little nervous coming into the event.

“It was so many people watching,” he said.

Third-place winner Will Clark, also from Merriwether, felt the same.

“It was a lot of people here, so that made me nervous. Then I wasn’t sure if I could win,” the fourth-grader said. “I did practice, so that helped.”

Both pupils said they plan to continue doing the puzzles for fun.

The second-place winner was fifth-grader Tyler Holmes, also from Merri­wether.

The school created the tournament after having the idea to do something different, Assistant Principal Patty Gibbs said.

“We have spelling bees and Accelerated Reader, but we wanted to do something math-related,” she said. “Sudoku is about logical thinking with numbers, so we felt it would be something interesting to introduce in the district.”

Merriwether pupils began doing the puzzles in Septem­ber. Winners from class competitions competed on their grade level about two weeks before the district tournament.

The grade-level finalists, five from each grade, then faced the finalists from the other schools in the tournament.

“They are loving it,” Gibbs said of the children’s response to the competition. “The kids who are more math-oriented now have something challenging they can compete in. There may be kids who may not be the best speller, but they are really good in math. This allows them to show off their logical skills in a competitive environment.”

Each tournament participant received a certificate of participation, a T-shirt showing a Sudoku puzzle in their school’s colors from Com­muni­graphics and free ice cream from Bruster’s at the tournament.

Each winner received a medal, a gift card from Barnes & Noble and a gift certificate for an ice cream cake from Bruster’s.

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