Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School Decathlon Team will advance to represent Georgia in the United States Academic Decathlon National Competition in Charlotte, N.C., in April after winning the recent state championship.
LFO High School brought home the Division II Georgia Academic Decathlon win along with team coaches Ian and Lisa Beck.
"Because of our size, we don't have the resources other schools have," said Lisa Beck. "But it shows our students' determination to win [when LFO defeats schools in all size brackets.]"
The team scored the highest points overall in Division I and II winning the Howard Stroud Championship trophy. It is the third consecutive year the team has won state.
"It's a big adrenaline rush," said LFO team captain Destin Sisemore, the top scoring student in the state with four gold, two bronze and one silver medal. "We go and do a speech and interview. We practice our speeches for two hours before we go to speak. We take seven tests right in a row. We do a super quiz relay. It's all crammed into two days."
Lisa Beck said the Georgia Academic Decathlon quizzes students in math, language and literature, economics, music, art, social science, essay writing and speech.
"The theme of the competition was the Great Depression, so students read 'The Grapes of Wrath,'" said Lisa Beck. "Every year we have new [packets of academic category] material to go through in preparation. It's a year round prep."
She said LFO's team, composed of nine students, is evenly divided into the A honor, B scholastic and C varsity divisions.
"It's all college level work and reading," said Ian Beck. "Most if not all of our students have gone on to be successful in college."
The Becks agree that the team put in 20 hours of study for the Georgia Academic Decathlon weekly for eight weeks.
Destin said even though this marks LFO's third winning season that it's still new because his team members are new.
"It's really cool to lead a school team to nationals," said Destin. "We have a lot of work to do."