Clovis students prep for upcoming Academic Decathlon

January 5, 2014 by  

The Fresno county Academic Decathlon tournaments are quickly approaching, with testing starting on February 1.

Students from high schools in Clovis and throughout Fresno county are eagerly preparing for the tests and contests, going so far as to dedicate their winter break to studying.

Decathlon members from Edison High School put in full days of work during their winter break, spending from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm studying and preparing during their three-week break. The students gathered in Clovis at the home of their coach, Gary Mrkaich, to study during the break.

Also meeting at Mrkaich’s home to study were students from McLane High School. Mrkaich’s wife, Cheryl, works as the decathlon coach at McLane. The winter break study sessions give the students something to do and help them avoid being bored. According to Thomas Moore, a senior at Edison, studying during the break keeps him motivated. Coach Mrkaich states his students spend 150 hours studying over the break.

The theme of this year’s Decathlon is World War II. The competition will consist of 10 categories, including economics, art, and social science. The team that wins might be tempted to carry out banner printing to advertise their victory for the year.

The teams from each school can have no more than nine members in total. Students do not have to be top performers academically; ideally, each team will have three students who earn high grades, three students who have average grades, and three students who have low grades.

The annual contests are held in February at high schools across the county. Decathlon events include the initial tests, the Super Quiz (which is similar in style to ‘Jeopardy’), and the awards ceremony.