AcDec finishes second in Region IX competition, advances to state


AcDec team poses with award after winning second place in region competition.

The Academic Decathlon team successfully reached the finals of the region nine competition at Coppell High School held on Feb. 20 and 21. The team placed second during the competition, competing against other Region IX schools, including Marcus, Creekview, Lewisville, and Newman Smith.

“It was our best finish overall,” AcDec coach Donna Friend said. “We have some tough competitors there. We’ve never beaten Marcus or Coppell, and [during the region competition] we did both of that.”

Winning second place in the regional competition helped the AcDec team to place 11th in the state of Texas. The state AcDec competition will be held Feb. 24-26 in Lubbock.

“We’re definitely better,” senior and captain Claire Boschert said. “I don’t know if it’s because we have more talented students or if we’ve learned how to prepare better. I remember my freshman year on the team, we didn’t spend a lot of time outside of class.”

The AcDec team started preparation for the competition during the summer. They met in the library once a week for an hour and a half and were able to study the material early in order to prepare better.

“The way it works, you get material you have to spend time with on your own,” Boschert said. “But we all spend a lot of time together coming up with some stupid mnemonics that managed to help remember the details. It’s just that balance between helping each other and becoming familiar with the material.”

According to Friend, AcDec strives to better a student’s ability to retain the information they learn on the topic given to them for the competition. During the competition, they go through a variety of competitions: art, music, social science, science, economics, literature and mathematics.

“That level of experience is really important as a team,” Friend said. “They are a naturally gifted group. When you look at the B/C average students, even though their report cards don’t show their intellect, they are still some of the most smartest kids, because they love learning. So it’s not about what their grades say about them; this group is just naturally gifted. A fantastic thing is that we found them and they get along. Me and [AcDec coach Travis] Zuber get along really well with them. They are my family, and it’s really fun to be apart of their family.”

The team consists of nine people, split into groups of three. These groups are determined by the grades they make in the past years in school. Having a well-rounded team in competitions gives them an advantage over other teams.

“I’d say a strength is that we’re a strong team overall,” senior Emma Hauck said. “A problem that a lot of teams will run into is that the varsity part of the team isn’t really strong. So the varsity kids are the ones averaging C’s, so the kids on that team are significantly less strong than the kids in the A or B group. Most of our C kids are really good, and our team is pretty solid, so that goes a long way.”

The team has improved their performance throughout the years by competing and studying their material earlier on in the year.

“The [returning members have] done better and better throughout the years and that’s a motivation for new students to do well,” Friend said. “Just knowing we’re not rookies anymore and knowing what to expect and how to prepare for it, just gives us a head start.”