Berryville Teen Reaches Spelling Bee Finals

By: Katrina Bush (TV3)
By: Katrina Bush (TV3)

Kids from across the country are competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

One of those is 13-year-old Berryville resident Samuel Estep, who has advanced to the finals.

Estep's competing for the second time in a row as one of the best young spellers in the nation.

The semifinals began Thursday morning and the finals will air on national television Thursday evening.

Estep says, "I'm really excited that I got to make it to the semifinals because that's been my goal for the last couple of years."

He says leaving Berryville for the contest is not easy.

"It's kind of scary because it's quite a contrast between where I am now and how it is at home, but I'm really glad that I have my family with me so it is a lot less scary," comments Estep.

Standing up in front of all those people and being on national television is on his mind, too. He says he gets very nervous.

Last year, Estep missed the cutoff for the semifinal round by three points.

However, he made it there and beyond this year.

Estep says, "There's no way to be entirely ready, because you can't know the whole dictionary. I could go out on the first or second round in the semifinals or I could maybe even make it to the finals but it all depends."

He says it depends on what words he draws, but he seems to be ready for just about anything. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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