Academic Aces Win Regionals, Head to State

Beck Chambers, Staff Writer

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Though hampered by cuts to funding, the Academic Decathlon team advanced to an 8th-consecutive state tournament by winning the regional competition on February 3.

“I am very proud of their accomplishments this year, even with the setbacks at the start of the year not knowing if we had a county to compete in, not knowing that we were able to get funding and still able to achieve the victory was amazing,” said coach Paul Verbanszky.

While the program is academically focused, it does provide opportunities for a range of students regardless of grade point average or interests. “AcaDeca is really interesting because it requires people fro all GPA’s to compete in the competition and the idea that GPA does not determine your intelligence and AcaDeca gives a different space for people who think differently than others,” said senior competitor Athya Uthayakumar.

According to Verbanszky, the team worked with an “Africa” theme this year while preparing for regionals. 

While the team has done well in the state competition the last few years, Verbanszky said that the squad has been moved up to a higher division this year, and will be facing larger schools that have been performing well at the state level for many decades.

Uthayakumar said “The only way for us to get into nationals is if we won with a high enough point margin in state we may be able to advance on to nationals.” 

“If we are capable of winning our division that is ending it on a high note,” said Verbanszky.

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