Published: May 30, 2014 6:16 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Those following Cape Coral native, Jacob Williamson, in the Scripps National Spelling Bee know how animated he was. With every new word, young hearts were pounding on stage. Meanwhile, those who know Jacob back home, watched nervously, but with excitement and pride.

"Oh, he is so adorable," said Jacob's neighbor, Melissa Davidson, "I was looking at him, and I was just so happy for him. I would say, 'oh, my goodness, so cute.' He is full of energy and spirit. He's a very happy kid."

Very happy is one way of putting it.

"Jacob, he gets excited about things as we've seen," said Ginger Davidson.

The joy of getting one word right, however, has countless hours of reading behind it; Jacob would read and re-write the dictionary and it's words countless times.

"It's crazy," Melissa said. "Sit down and read the dictionary? I hate looking up one word, let alone a million!"

His neighbors say with every word, they were holding their breath. Even on that one word Jacob was sure he knew, "Kabaragoya."

"We were kind of with him." Ginger said. "He was like, 'what?'" She said, "and we were like, 'WHAT?'" she reenacted with a laugh.

Even though Jacob didn't take home first, his biggest fans say they're so proud.

"It was tough but, you know what? He went really far," Ginger said, "I mean, our local hero!"

The Davidsons aren't sure when the Williamsons are returning from their D.C. trip, but plan to congratulate Jacob when he gets back.