Words spelled correctly were sweet as honey, while misspellings assuredly stung like a bee.
Welcome to the pressure-cooker known as the District 5 CYO Spelling Bee, which was held last week at St. John Neumann Regional School's Palmerton campus.
Sixth, seventh and eighth graders from various schools took turns as they attempted to spell each word successfully in their quest for spelling supremacy.
The competition for each grade was held in multiple rooms for time purposes. Each group was given two warm-up rounds prior to the start of the contest.
A trophy was awarded for first place, a small plaque for second place, and a large ribbon for third place.
When all was said and done, Brendan Carroll of St. Joseph Regional Academy, Jim Thorpe, took top honors in the Grade 6 contest, Paxton Klotz of Our Lady of the Angels Academy, Lansford, came out on top in the Grade 7 contest, and John Swierczek of Our Lady of the Angels Academy won the Grade 8 contest.
From St. John Neumann's Palmerton campus, Elijah Koma took third in the Grade 6 contest, while Elizabeth Kester placed third in the Grade 8 contest.
Regardless of where they finished, the students gave their all, according to Fran Lenahan, event coordinator.
"The kids seemed to be excited about it," Lenahan said. "Some of them take it very seriously, and it's a big deal to them."
Lenahan said the first and second-place performers from each grade then went on to compete at the 29th Annual Diocesan CYO Spelling Bee Nov. 21 at McAdoo Catholic.