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The St. Francis Academic Decathlon Team

posted Mar 25, 2011, 7:08 PM by Golden Knight

By Marc Magallanes


There is a select group of hard-working students that spends more time at school than many teachers.  When most students run away from more work, these students run towards it. Who are these peculiar students who do extra reading after school daily? They are part of the St. Francis Academic Decathlon team.

 Many people have heard of Academic Decathlon but don’t know what it comprises of. Academic Decathlon is an annual competition testing in ten subjects: literature, mathematics, social science, art, music, interview, speech, super quiz (science), economics, and essay. Each year the seven objective topics concentrate on one theme (this year’s theme is the Great Depression).

 A team can consist of at least six members and at most nine members. A team is categorized into three divisions based on grade point average: varsity (0.00-2.99), scholastic (3.00-3.74), and honors (3.75-4.0). The top three scorers in each division go on to the first team and the rest go onto the second team (which still needs more people if anyone is interested).

 The students that make up the teams spend their afternoons and early evenings from the beginning of school reading, writing, and learning a new curriculum different from the school’s own curriculum. Led and taught by captain Christopher Ferro and coached by Mr. Dierking, the team keeps encouraged knowing that they will once again flourish in the competition due to extensive practice and a healthy academic surrounding. These students, however, have a less serious side as shown by their personalities that match their peculiar passion and determination. Words fail to capture their uniqueness and character and only through dropping by an Academic Decathlon practice can one witness their exceptionality. On why he joined the Academic Decathlon Team freshman year, captain Chris Ferro said, “I joined because of the environment. It became a home for me and the people there became my brothers. After that I never left and continue to do Decathlon to this day.”

 Their first competition is a scrimmage at Alemany on Saturday, November 20. The current Academic Decathlon Team has large shoes to fill after receiving 2nd place last year in the Medium-Sized Schools category, but the Decathlon Team looks to obtain the coveted 1st place in regionals and beat rival Alemany.