Robbie Getz is taking the defense of his title seriously.
On Saturday, he'll be back at the All-Kansas Spelling Bee in Topeka trying to retain the state crown he won last year, and the 14-year-old student at Lawrence's West Junior High School has been hitting the books to get in shape for the championship bout.
"I study one or two hours every day, usually," said Robbie. "I think I'm pretty well prepared."
Robbie won the right to defend his title after taking the Douglas County Spelling Bee in February. The victory, for Robbie, was "beguiling," which he spelled correctly to retain his county title.
In Topeka, he'll compete against about 100 Kansas students in the fifth through eighth grades.
Robbie and his parents, Jon and Judy Getz, live about six miles west of Lawrence.
HE SAYS his previous experience in the state competition may improve his chances of winning a second state title.
"I don't think I'll be as nervous as the first time," he said.
The All-Kansas Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Topeka Capital-Journal, will begin at 1 p.m. in the Shawnee Room of the Kansas Expocentre, 17th and Topeka streets, in Topeka.
Robbie says he has been preparing for the state bee by using several sources.
"The Topeka Capital-Journal has a spelling bee supplement, which I look at. I also use this spelling bee book called `Words of Champions,'" he said.
IN ADDITION, Robbie says his mother tests him on various words, especially those that begin with the letter "x."
If Robbie wins this year's state bee, he will travel to Washington, D.C., for the National Spelling Bee.
Last April, he was knocked out in the first round of the national competition, when he had trouble with "nasturtium."