Kaycee nabs second-straight Battle of the Books title | schools







Ember Perry taps a teammate on the head to answer the next question on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School. Kaycee’s team brought home the championship title again for the second year in a row.



Kaycee School is quickly becoming the literacy powerhouse of Johnson County after the Battling Broncs team — made up of seven third-and-fourth grade students — won the school’s second-straight Battle of the Books title on Thursday.

“My favorite part of the day was winning and seeing the rest of my team enjoy today,” teammember John Cohee said.

To win the championship, the Battling Broncs had to win four preliminary contests throughout the day Thursday, which was a difficult path to victory because the team had to endure some tie-breaking rounds.

“The toughest part for me was when we had to have four tiebreakers,” student Waylon Davis said. “I was shaking so bad, I shook halfway through lunch.”

After the preliminary contests were complete, the Battling Broncs and their opponent, the Pickles, took their seats on the gymnasium floor a little after 2 pm and settled in for more than 20 questions crafted by Cloud Peak teachers about this year’s Indian Paintbrush books. Indian Paintbrush books are chosen by Wyoming fourth, fifth and sixth graders as the best books of the year.







Kreyton Stoltz leans in as his team discusses the answer to one of the first questions

Cloud Peak Elementary’s Kreyton Stoltz leans in as his team discusses the answer to one of the first questions in the championship book battle on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School. Stoltz was a member of “The Pickles,” Cloud Peak’s team that made the finals.









Cloud Peak Elementary students, teachers and parents quietly listen

Cloud Peak Elementary students, teachers and parents quietly listen in as the championship book battle takes place on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School. The annual Battle of the Books returned to in person this year with the whole school and the visiting Kaycee students watching the final match from the gym.









“The Pickles,” the team from Cloud Peak that make the final round

“The Pickles,” the team from Cloud Peak that make the final round, talks through a question during the championship book battle on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School.



This year’s nominee list includes books from a variety of genres, such as “Becoming Muhammad Ali” by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander and “A Wolf Called Wander” by Rosanne Parry.

Once the book list is released, Johnson County students read the books, memorize facts about them and study questions created by teachers to prepare for the competition, which began more than a decade ago, thanks to teacher Jamie Irish.

In the championship round Thursday, both teams started evenly, with the Pickles getting the first steal after the Battling Broncs answered a question incorrectly.

From time to time, neither team would know the answer, which student Avah Wetter said often happens because the students haven’t necessarily read all of the books by the time the competition rolls around.

For a while, the teams traded points, but a little more than halfway through, the Battling Broncs were able to get a steal back, and then eventually one more, giving them an insurmountable lead and a 10-8 victory.

Kaycee won its first Battle of the Books title during last year’s altered competition, when no parent visitors and no student spectators were allowed for the championship round.







Joseph Southerland thinks over a question

Cloud Peak Elementary’s Joseph Southerland thinks over a question while teams come up with their answers on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School.









Kaycee's Avah Wetter ducks her head in worry as her teammate answers

Kaycee’s Avah Wetter ducks her head in worry as her teammate answers a quesiton for Kaycee’s team “The Battle Broncs” on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School. This team was one of two that Kaycee brought to compete in the Battle of the Books.









Cloud Peak's Ellie Stabler listens to her teammates

Cloud Peak’s Ellie Stabler listens to her teammates as they discuss a question on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School. Included in this year’s competition were a variety of books ranging in genre.



And the school nearly made it a clean sweep this year, because for the first time Kaycee School sent two teams to the competition. The other Kaycee team lost in the semifinal round.

While the win was sweet, it wasn’t everything for the Battling Broncs, who said they enjoyed seeing some old friends and meeting new friends during the all-school recess that occurred before the championship round.

“My favorite part of the day was meeting others and helping them feel confident and okay that they lost, because it’s not always about winning,” Avah said.







Alice Broderick, Cloud Peak, asks if she can take the next question

Alice Broderick, Cloud Peak, asks if she can take the next question during the championship book battle on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School. The bracket style tournament was held throughout the course of the day, with the final matchup hosted after recess at the end of the day.









John Cohee giggles with excitement as his team celebrates

Kaycee’s John Cohee giggles with excitement as his team celebrates winning the championship round and the year’s Battle of the Books on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School. Kaycee has now two years in a row – the only two years they have participated.









Jake Evans takes a picture of Kaycee's winning team

Kaycee Schools Principal Jake Evans takes a picture of Kaycee’s winning team after the end of the match on Thursday at Cloud Peak Elementary School. The Kaycee students stopped for ice cream on their way home to celebrate the win.



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