While some confusion persists about how the 2020-21 academic decathlon season will look, the team at Ketchikan High School has been preparing since May.
Kayhi teacher Peter Stanton coaches the AcDc team, and spoke to the Daily News on Monday about his expectations for the season.
Stanton said he has not received any guidance about competitions from the national Academic Decathlon Association, and is unsure of when that guidance will be announced.
"I supposed that I would probably be pretty surprised if they said they wanted to do everything in person in Anchorage, as normal," Stanton explained. "That would be pretty surprising. But, they haven't made an official announcement yet."
As of now, the regional tournaments are scheduled to happen virtually throughout December and January.
"We'll just have to see about February and the state tournament," Stanton said.
Practices are taking place in-person — with masks for all — after school. Over the summer, the team regularly met via Zoom.
While a season that takes entirely online would be unprecedented for the Kayhi team, Stanton's decathletes are not unprepared.
"Compared to other extracurriculars, I think that we're pretty well-prepared for this, because we have had virtual regional tournaments in the past, just in order to save money on travel because other teams in Southeast did not have the money to travel," Stanton said.
This year, Stanton's team includes about 16 students ready to tackle a new season, which is centered around The Cold War.
Stanton said that at the beginning of the year, he was worried that the lack of firm travel plans and a modified school year would lead to a lack of new recruits for his team.
"So far, it seems like I've gotten a fair number of new recruits," Stanton said.
The team features competitors ranging in grade from freshman to senior.
Captained by August Cooper and Evelyn Nutt, the team meets every Monday and Wednesday.
Practices cover history, literature, music, science and other events from the era of the Cold War.
Stanton said he believes the students enjoy this year's theme, especially because their regular history classes already provide them with a background knowledge of the topic.
"But then, there's so much more to learn once we get into things," Stanton said.
When the Daily News spoke to Stanton after the team's practice on Monday, he said that day's discussion included the Soviet Union, spies, timely scandals and U.S. presidents.
"We're been doing a whole variety of things in our practices so far," Stanton commented.
During the AcDc season, students will write speeches and essays, conduct interviews, answer questions and compete in QuizBowl style tournaments.
Last year, the Kayhi AcDc season's theme was "In sickness and in health," a curriculum focused on the study of illness and disease, with an emphasis on Mary Shelley's book, “Frankenstein.”