Ready, Set, Learn


Brandon Austin

Lake Ridge Academic Decathlon will test their knowledge at the state competition

Lake Ridge High School is a school that strives for academic and athletic prowess.  From the football team to the swim team, from the UIL teams to the debate team, success is not unknown regarding the extracurriculars at Lake Ridge. The school’s Academic Decathlon team is no exception to this feat as the team will travel to San Antonio for the state competition on March 7th and 8th. 

So, what is Academic Decathlon? According to the United States Academic Decathlon website, Academic Decathlon, abbreviated as AcaDec, is a ten-event scholastic competition for teams of high school students. Each high school enters a team of nine students that are equally separated into three categories: Honor, Scholastic, and Varsity. Students within the Honor category maintain grades within the A range, students within the Scholastic category contain grades within the B range, and the Varsity category is compiled of students whose grades are within the C range. Alongside these nine members, each team houses a group comprised of three students as alternates. 

For the Lake Ridge High School Academic Decathlon team, preparations for the various competitions begin during the summer prior to the school year. However, once the school year begins, the studying and practice assignments kick into full gear in order for the team to be fully prepared for the various competitions. According to junior, Madeleine Bush, the team utilizes a variety of methods, in hopes that they will be the best prepared. 

“The team prepares by studying each subject everyday. More specifically, we read over the material and take practice quizzes and tests. Everyday we are working hard towards being the most knowledgeable about every subject we come across,” Bush said. 

Similar to sports, such as baseball and soccer, being on the team requires a certain level of dedication and work ethic. Likewise, students within the team feel the varying degrees of pressure as they try to gain as much knowledge as possible for upcoming competitions. Senior, Melanie Perez, has felt loads of pressure to be the best and most prepared for the competition. Despite the immense stress, Perez has worked hard throughout season, and is now headed to the state competition alongside her teammates. 

“The season has gone unbelievably well. We got first in district and we are considered Top 40 Schools in Texas. It can be stressful trying to truly gain the most amount of knowledge and read the lengths of passages in such a short period of time. It’s cramming while still trying to succeed in other classes. But I am very proud of the team for everything we have accomplished,” said Perez. 

While being on the team in general is accompanied by certain degrees of stress, another level may be added when transitioning from the position an alternate to being put onto the main roster. Senior, Eden Chen, was moved from the Alternate category into the Varsity category, but admits that while she felt a certain level of pressure, her teammates never failed to help her out. 

“Being an alternate, it was weird to have a break in between district and region because I wasn’t officially on the team competing. But, they didn’t put a ton of pressure on me, as a matter of fact, they were all really helpful. I put a lot of pressure on myself because I wanted to do good for the team, though,” Chen said.  

Lake Ridge High School’s Academic Decathlon team will continue their hard work and determination as they head to the state competition in San Antonio, Texas alongside the team’s sponsors, Don Counts and Brandon Austin.