Academic Decathlon Kicks Off Season

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Sydney Wolfe

The SJHHS Academic Decathlon team succeeded in the virtual competition held last year and became the first team from CAPOUSD to make it to the state division.

With the return back to campus, the Academic Decathlon team at SJHHS will begin recruiting new members for their upcoming season. The theme of the 2021-22 Academic Decathlon competition, “Water: A Most Essential Resource,”  has been announced and has kickstarted the preparation for this year’s competition. 

 Academic Decathlon is a ten-event competition with seven general subjects that relate to the season’s theme. These subjects are art, science, math, economics, literature, music, and social science. This year’s theme about water assigns a particular topic for each of these subjects. For example, the topic for science will be marine biology and the assigned long work for literature will be Jack London’s The Sea-Wolf.

ACADECA consists of a series of tests and demonstrations, such as speeches, interviews, and essays. The competition typically takes place during the spring semester of school, giving students the fall and winter to prepare. Normally, the team’s decathletes might even start preparing and recruiting in the summer.

We always have fun team bonding activities that we do for each theme. One year we did the 1960s and we had a team tie-dye party where we sat in the parking lot and tie-dyed our team shirts. We tend to be a team that’s a lot of fun”

— Danielle Flint

“In a normal year, the season will start over the summer. We are recruiting a little bit late this year, so right now we have our team that is rolling over from last year,” said English teacher and club adviser Flint. “We’re starting to look for new competitors for this upcoming year, which I think will be easier because we won our division’s competition and went to state last year.

Despite the challenges provoked by the pandemic, SJHHS decathletes succeeded in the virtual competition held last year and became the first team from Capistrano Unified School District to reach the state level. And, most importantly, beyond the rigorous amount of work and preparation, the team always has fun throughout the season. 

“We always have fun team bonding activities that we do for each theme. One year we did the 1960s and we had a team tie-dye party where we sat in the parking lot and tie-dyed our team shirts. We tend to be a team that’s a lot of fun.”

The SJHHS Academic Decathlon team usually has about 15 students with various GPAs. Each team required three “Varsity” students (0.00 to 3.199 GPA), three “Scholastic” students (3.20 to 3.799 GPA), and three “Honor” students (3.80 to 4.00 GPA). The SJHHS team will begin welcoming new competitors soon.

“Pretty soon we are going to be sending an announcement out. We’re also going to have some of our decathletes visiting classes and talking to students who might be interested, also reaching out to teachers. But you’re also welcome to drop by my room and ask for information,” said Flint. 

Academic Decathlon is an amazing opportunity that gives students the chance to win scholarships, accolades, and, of course, medals. If you are interested in joining or learning more about the competition, make sure to follow the SJHHS team on Instagram @sjhhsacadeca.