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Academic Cougars Show Prowess
team ACA
Shown, members of the Escalon Academic Decathlon team, which came in second overall in the new School with a Club category at this weekends competition. Photo Contributed

Coming away with a second place overall showing in the ‘School with a Club’ category at the weekend’s annual San Joaquin County Academic Decathlon, coach George Megenney said he was proud of the team and its accomplishments this year.

Previously, teams fell into either the ‘large’ or ‘small’ school category, but Megenney said that has now changed.

At last Spring’s coaches meeting, Megenney said he brought up a “point of order” to AcaDec officials, regarding what he termed the “unfairness of schools such as EHS that have a club” having to compete with those schools in the county that have programs with a class dedicated specifically to Academic Decathlon preparation and study.

“Other coaches agreed that we were playing on an unfair playing field, so the old model was discarded and a new one created: Schools with a club and those with a class,” Megenney explained. “EHS came in second overall in the category reserved for schools that operate with a club.”

In addition to the team honor, starter Caitlyn Pehl brought home a medal, taking third place honors in Essay competition.

“We did not place in any other category or receive any other recognition this year other than that already mentioned,” Megenney added. “However, I am no less proud of the efforts and hard work put forth by our students this year given that we only meet once a week after school and the rest of the practice and study is entirely up to them to work out on their own.

“That I can manage to cobble together a nine person starting team from year to year has continued to surprise and delight me. It only goes to speak to the good-hearted nature and willingness of our students to try challenging things and expand their horizons in the process.”