Son of Richard and Melissa Coyle and...


April 26, 1993

MATTHEW COYLE, 10, son of Richard and Melissa Coyle and brother of Megan Coyle, of Mystic Woods Court in Mount Airy.

School: Fourth-grader at Mount Airy Elementary School.

Honored for: Being the top Carroll County scorer in the statewide geography bee held April 2 at Bowie State University.

Matthew was especially disappointed because he still believes his last answer was right, even though the judges said it was wrong.

He had made it through preliminary rounds until a tiebreaker question between him and two other boys was asked. The winner would make it into the top 10, which meant he would be on television for the final match.

The question was, "What body of water is east of Somalia?" Matthew said the Arabian Sea. The other two boys said the Indian Ocean. The judges said Matthew was wrong, but he kept insisting he was right, his mother said.

So his father and his teacher, Andrea Bunting, walked over to the university library to check in an atlas, and saw that the Arabian Sea, north of the Indian Ocean, was indeed just east of Somalia.

But the judges wouldn't accept the answer, Mrs. Coyle said.

Goals: To get back into the bee next year -- and win.

Comments: Matthew still feels it was unfair, but acknowledges the answer is a judgment call.

"It wasn't really wrong, but it wasn't really right. You have to be pretty exact. It's not like there's any border between the two. There's not any sign that says, 'You are entering the Arabian Sea.' "

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