The Academic Decathlon team topped 46 other high schools in a Los Angeles county-wide scrimmage at Monrovia High School on Saturday, November 14. In addition to placing first, the 18 members’ total points of 32,951.4 established a new record in LA County’s first round of competition. Their score topped last year’s record, which was also set by the SPHS AcaDeca team.
“I was very proud of our team,” junior Anthony Chen said. “In fact, we won so many of the awards that towards the end of the awards ceremony, everybody stopped clapping when one of us won, and everybody clapped when somebody from another school won.”
The Los Angeles County scrimmage tested students’ knowledge on subjects including Art, Economics, Language and Literature, Math, Music, Science, and Social Science. Every competition includes students from an array of grade point averages, and in all seven topics South Pasadena students won first place.
“This year we have a lot of students who are brand new,” advisor Mr. Oliver Valcorza said. “My expectations were for them to match what we did last year. Last year at the Los Angeles
County Scrimmage we scored over 30,000 points, which was the first time in over 35 years that happened. My goal for this year was to match that, and not only did we match it, but we actually surpassed it.”
Senior captains Symona Stans and Jacob Chun placed first in five of the competitions, and ten other members also earned top awards. The team looks forward to its next scrimmage on December 11, with hopes to continue on its positive trajectory. The series of scrimmages will prepare the team for the California state competition in March.
“If we really are able to set our goals high and not only achieve them, but also maintain them, I’ll be very happy,” Valcorza said.