Academic Decathlon Gears Up for New Season

Brooke Presten, Staff Writer

Run by Paul Verbansky, the Academic Decathlon is a competitive test-taking club comprised of students tasked with the study of eleven different subjects,  including art, literature, economics, language, interview, music, speech, essay, super quiz, science and math.

Senior Jacob Phillips was on last year’s team, which won the county championship and advanced to the State finals. According to Phillips, their win at county, “came out of nowhere.”

Phillips said, “Now all of the other schools have stepped up the competition because we, I would say, have inspired them.”

The club’s goal for this year is to repeat as county champs so they can compete at State again. Phillips and Verbansky hbelieve that this goal is achievable. Phillips said, “Due to our scrimmage scores I think that is a very real possibility.”

The Academic Decathlon club has over thirty participants this year. There will be two finalized teams of nine people for each competition, and the rest of the students will serve as guests. From those two teams of nine, only one will compete in the state competition if the squad advances.

Verbansky said being on the squad takes “Participation, dedication, scores on scrimmages and knowledge of the material. If people participate they will have a good chance of being on a team.” Students compete against other schools as well as each other individually.

Phillips joined the club by accident last year. Phillips said, “The [Academic Decathlon] has ended up being one of the things I can put very proudly on my college applications. This sets me out from other people because I did something truly unique.”

The next district club scrimmage is next week at Acalanes High School.