Cazenovia High School's Academic Decathlon team will be representing the district at the State Competition on March 11 and 12 at Onondaga Community College. Having just placed second in the regional competition on Feb.5 at Westhill High School, the team is busy studying and preparing to compete against seven other teams from around New York at the state championships.
"This has been a successful program since its start in the late 1980s," Coach Susan McKillop said. "I hope the kids do their best at this next competition and stick to our strategy. It is a lot of hard work, and they've put in a lot of effort. They deserve the credit, regardless of the outcome at states."
McKillop has been coaching the AD team since she came to the district in 1996. For the past six years, the "decathletes" have been consecutively crowned both regional and state champions. Led by McKillop and Martin Kelly, Cazenovia's Academic Decathlon team has earned quite a reputation amongst their intellectual opponents.
At competitions, participating schools send nine members. There are three different divisions - Honors, Scholastic and Varsity - which are designated by students' grade point averages. Three students comprise each division. The honors division includes students with "A" averages, while the scholastic division is for the "B" students and "C" students make up the varsity team.
The theme of this year's state competition is the Great Depression; however students will take seven written exams which can be any of ten academic subjects, a math test, and a "Super Quiz" which will focus on geology. In addition, competitors will have to deliver a 4 minute speech, an impromptu speech, complete an interview and an essay.
Cazenovia's team is comprised of returning champions and first time contenders, ranging in ages and grade point averages. There are ample competitors in the honors and scholastic divisions, as some students are listed as "alternates" on the roster. However, the team is in need of another varsity member. The team only has two competing varsity students, and will enter the state competition with a squad of only eight-members.