One local speller hopes he has what it takes to advance in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Santino Panzica is an 8th grader from East Aurora who's traveling to Washington D.C. to compete in the Bee. He will be one of 285 spellers hoping to win it all.
"I'm not really nervous," he said. "I'll be happy with however far I get."
Panzica is wild about words. He likes to read, and write poetry. He published a book full of his finished poems.
Until the Bee kicks off, Panzica says he will be practicing root words and definitions.
Although he loves to spell, it isn't his only passion. He's a self-taught pianist.
Congratulations and good luck to Panzica and all the other spellers competing this week.
7 Eyewitness News will have spelling bee coverage throughout the week.