Editor’s note: Team photos were provided from each school to Jones College. Not every school had a team picture available.

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By Teresa McCreery

JC Media Relations

 Perennial top contenders have a couple of new teams to challenge them in Jones College’s Bobcat Math League competition this fall. As the competition begins its eighth season, Raymond and Petal high schools have joined the STEM-based contest initiated by the Jones College Math Department. BML Commissioner Dr. Jessica Bunch said the new teams will add another level of excitement as they challenge themselves and their competitors for five weeks of competition.

“We’re looking forward to a great season of competition with returning teams chomping at the bit and new teams vying for a stake in the standings as they gain their footing in the competition. We are thrilled with how high school students are furthering their STEM knowledge and how eager and willing they are to help each other advance their knowledge by practicing and taking part in the Bobcat Math League,” said Bunch.  

The high schools have been divided into three divisions — Science, Technology and Engineering. 

In the first week of competition, Petal wasted no time in establishing a dominant presence. The Panthers trounced on its first competitor, the Raleigh Lions in a brutal “cat fight” within the Science Division, as Petal handily won, 71-26, over Raleigh. The Panthers lead their division while the Lions lick their wounds in last place in the Science Division. Sacred Heart nearly lost to the other newcomers, the Raymond Rangers, but held on, 48-42.

West Jones and South Jones, familiar foes in the BML,  began the season in a cross-county rivalry. The Mustangs managed to keep the South Jones Braves at bay to land in third place in the division with a 37-28 win over the Braves, who are in fifth place in the division. 

Defending 2018 BML champion Oak Grove managed to take the lead in the Engineering Division by destroying the Columbia Academy Cougars, 80-14. The win puts Oak Grove in first place in their division and Columbia Academy ends up in third place. The Warriors proved their team would not be easily defeated this year as Oak Grove math coach Whitney Necessary explained they have a mix of experience and new faces this year.

“We are a young team with a lot of new faces. We only have two returning team members with any significant playing experience,” she said. “However, we have a few seniors that I expect to lead the team and I also think we’ll have some younger members step up as key players. We are grateful to Jones College for organizing and hosting this competition each year!”

Perhaps surprising themselves, the 2018 BML runner-up Presbyterian Christian annihilated the Perry Central Bulldogs in a merciless matchup. The Bobcats easily outscored the Bulldogs, 68-2, placing PCS in second place in the Engineering Division.

In the Technology Division, the Quitman Panthers defeated the Wayne County War Eagles, 48-47, to lead the division with Wayne County taking third place in the division. The Northeast Jones Tigers also proved they are in the hunt for a return to playoff competition as they defeated the Wayne Academy Jaguars, 44-25. 

Results are posted on the JC Bobcat Math League web page under “Division Standings/Schedules at http://www.jcjc.edu/bobcatmathleague/  and the Facebook page: Bobcat Math League - Facebook as well as local media outlets. For more information about the Bobcat Math League contact Dr. Jessica Bunch (JC Bobcat Math League Commissioner) at 601-477-5422 or email at jessica.bunch@jcjc.edu.

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