The statewide U.S. Academic Decathlon Association tournament begins Friday, and Ketchikan High School's team will be competing virtually against teams from around the state for a chance at the championship.
The tournament originally was scheduled to be held at the University of Alaska Anchorage but was moved online due to COVID-19, Kayhi's coach Peter Stanton told the Daily News on Thursday afternoon. 
"As of a few weeks ago, the state organization decided that they were going to move it to a virtual competition again, like we did last year," Stanton said. "And I know it was disappointing for the students to not be able to travel, but I understand there are a lot of other considerations in terms of having the space to use at UAA, and potentially, you know, having hundreds of students in that space."
As of Thursday, Stanton was hoping that all nine students on Kayhi's roster would be able to compete.
"My expectation is that some of the students have worked really hard this year and they will definitely win some medals," Stanton said. "I think there's even a possibility that one or two students are within range (for scholarships), in terms of the total scores that they can achieve, in the competition." 
Stanton continued, "In terms of our team score and you know, taking the whole championship, based on the results from the state scrimmage in January, I don't think that we quite have a big enough team and we're not quite in the same place as the Lathrop team and IDEA. ... I'm sure those teams are bigger and have been working really hard this year. So they had higher scores in a lot of categories. I don't know, maybe .... I think it's possible we could take third in the state." 
The students completed the essay portion of the tournament this past week, and will tackle the math, economics and science events on Friday morning. The speech event is slated for Friday afternoon.
Saturday morning will bring literature, art, music and social science, with the interview category scheduled for Saturday afternoon. 
The tournament's awards ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday over Zoom. 
"It's been kind of a strange year, (a) unique year," Stanton said. "(It's) a small group of students. Lots of ups and downs and changes to our plans, but I'm still proud of them and they'll definitely do well and have fun and it will be worthwhile."