The third time was a charm for Floyd County teenager Maddox Parsons, a student at Pikeville Junior High School who won the overall prize in the annual Big Sandy MATHCOUNTS competition on Saturday, Feb. 16. 

Maddox competed alongside 47 other students

from Floyd, Johnson and Pike counties at MATHCOUNTS, which was hosted by the Big Sandy Chapter of the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers at Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg.

Other overall winners included Ben Lafferty of Johnson County Middle in second place and Aneesh Sharma of Pikeville Junior High in third place. 

Ashlie Childers, coordinator for the Big Sandy chapter, said 48 students from Adams Middle School, Allen Elementary, Duff-Allen Central Elementary, John M. Stumbo Elementary, South Floyd Elementary, Betsy Layne Elementary, Pikeville Junior High and Johnson County Middle participated.

Parsons, 13, the son of Tonie and Jeremy Parsons of Emma, said he has competed at MATHCOUNTS for the past three years. 

An eighth grade student at Pikeville Junior High School, Parsons took home the overall prize on Saturday. He won a full four-year scholarship to the University of Kentucky, a four-year scholarship for $1,000 annually at Western Kentucky University and a $500 scholarship from the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers.

He plans to become a civil engineer. 

“I’ve always want to be a civil engineer, and just doing something around, like, math,” he said. “I’ve always thought it was just interesting. We took a test at school and it gave us job lookouts for us, and one of my first ones was civil engineering. I’ve always just thought that was cool.” 

His mother thanked his former coach Jeri McNamee and current coach Ginger Mullins for helping him prepare for MATHCOUNTS.

Students work individually and in teams at MATHCOUNTS, during which they complete written exams and test their math skills in sprint rounds, target rounds and team rounds. 

Parsons is one of several students who will advance to compete at the Kentucky MATHCOUNTS competition, which will be held March 23 in Louisville. 

The top two teams and the top three individuals who are not on a winning team will advance to the state competition. 

The list of students advancing to state include first-place team members Christine Al Akhrass, Trey Hancock, Parsons and Aneesh Sharma of Pikeville Junior High; and second-please team members Chase Cantrell, Anakin Slone, Isaiah Rowland and Bryce Ferguson of Johnson County Middle.

The other students who qualified to compete at state included high-ranking scorers Ben Lafferty of Johnson County Middle in first place, Jacob Roberts of Allen Elementary in second place and Alex Begley of Duff-Allen Central in third place.

MATHCOUNTS was made possible with donations from the cities of Prestonsburg and Pikeville, Summit Engineering, Food City, Walmart and BSCTC.

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