AcaDeca Ready for County Showdown


Juniors Nicholas Fleming and Zack Beck do some extra studying before the competition.

Emily Fong, Staff Writer

The Academic Decathlon team will compete in the 2nd of the state’s county competitions, February 2. The Campo team is seeking to defend their county title against 16 other high schools, having advanced to the state tournament the past 2 years.

“I believe there’s a lot of pressure, when you’re number 1 everyone’s going to try and knock you down,” said advisor Paul Verbanszky. About 30 students are a part of this year’s squad, according to Verbanszky. The theme this year is Russia, and students have studied the history and culture of the Eurasian nation, including the novel Dr. Zhivago.

Junior Marina Han said, “I think a great deal of pressure comes from ourselves, because most of us are intrinsically motivated.”

“We need to beat Acalanes, Los Lomas and Miramonte in our district, but especially Miramonte because they rarely show up to district tournaments, so we have trouble gauging what they know,” Han added.

Captain Evelyn Steefel is confident in her team’s abilities. “We have a strong team this year again,” she said.  Though she warns that nothing is ever set in stone, “A school can just come out of nowhere.”

A meet consists of 2 parts: a planned and impromptu speech session and a multiple choice testing session. Steefel says that to prepare for the competition the group has been practicing their speeches and reviewing the material. Much of the preparation for the contests comes from the study groups and activities organized by the club, according to Verbanszky.

According to the California Academic Decathlon’s website, students will be quizzed on a variety of subjects, including the arts, economics, social sciences, music, language and literature, and science.

The representative team from California has won or placed second in the national AcaDeca competition every year since its introduction. The only year that California has not placed in the top 2 was 1992.