Ridgefield Library teams conquer national Scrabble championship

Ridgefield Library players dominated the 2018 North American School Scrabble Championship held April 28-29, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Seven Ridgefield Library players finished in the top ten in their divisions.

The top prize of $10,000 in the Championship Division went to Ridgefield Library player Jeffrey Pogue, a seventh grader from Westport. Jeffrey teamed with Noah Slatkoff, a sixth grader from Ottawa, to win all nine of their games. The boys also won the prize for high win, scoring 614 points in their third game. Fellow Ridgefield Library players Joey and Jake Nadol, Ridgefield eighth grade and fourth grade, finished 10th in the Championship Division.  

In the Challenge Division, Ridgefield fifth grader Ian Whitehurst and his teammate Kevin Zeng finished first, undefeated in their nine games. Fourth went to Ridgefield seventh graders Joey Archer and Spencer Soleiman, and Ridgefield brothers Andrew and Will Knispel (eighth and third grade) finished fifth. This was the largest division at the event, with 56 teams competing.

Noah Kalus, a junior from New Paltz, N.Y. who has trained for many years at the Ridgefield Library, won first place in the High School Division.

Cornelia Guest, who coached these students, runs a weekly Scrabble Club at the Ridgefield Library Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m. This is the fourth year in a row that she’s coached the Championship team, but the first time that she’s coached the winners in each division.