The Ketchikan High School academic decathlon team is preparing to start practicing together for the 2021-22 competitive AcDc season, which this year is set to feature in-person events and offer college credits.
A proposed schedule — which is subject to changes based on COVID-19 — with a combination of virtual and in-person competition has been circulated to regional coaches, Kayhi team coach Peter Stanton wrote to the Daily News in a recent email.
The schedule provided by Stanton lists the first AcDc regional tournament as happening on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 in Juneau. A virtual scrimmage is set to be held on Jan. 14 and Jan. 15, while the state tournament is slated to be held Feb. 18 through Feb. 20 in Anchorage. Nationals are slated for April 21 through April 23 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
Seven members of the Kayhi AcDc team competed virtually this past school year in an online national tournament, coming in 11th place in the small schools division. The theme of the 2020-21 competitive season was "The Cold War."
According to Stanton, Alaska high school students this year can earn college credit by participating in AcDc programs. The virtual state scrimmage will serve as a sort of final exam for students who are obtaining college credit by participating in AcDc, although the event is open to all decathletes.
"As part of that course, there needed to be some sort of final assessment for granting the students credit, and it seems like an online state scrimmage would be the best way to make that happen," Stanton wrote. "Since the ideal timing for that scrimmage would be mid-January after students return from their winter breaks, we coaches in Southeast decided it would be prudent not to try to schedule another tournament immediately before or after that one. The decathletes will still get to have two competitions before the state tournament, as usual."
Stanton noted that the Kayhi AcDc team may also choose to participate in a virtual invitational tournament in mid-November, hosted by a school in Irving, Texas.
The theme of this year's AcDc season is "Water: A Most Essential Resource," and Stanton wrote that a collaboration with Kayhi's National Ocean Sciences Bowl team might be on the horizon due to the common interest.
The theme will be applied to the 10 events that make up AcDc competition, which include music, art, social science, economics, science, mathematics, literature, speech, interview and the Super Quiz round. The first seven events are completed via multiple choice exam, which has questions centered around the theme, according to the U.S. Academic Decathlon association.
Students will read Jack London's "The Sea Wolf" as the season's main literature, along with shorter works, and study the effect of water on human history, economics, art forms, and composition and economics, according to the U.S. AcDc information.