Its absence was only one year, but Oakdale High School celebrated its Stanislaus County Academic Decathlon title Saturday night as if it was something new.
When the school’s name was called as champions of the 38th edition of the academic challenge held at Ceres High School, team members screamed in excitement as they jumped out from their seats to go claim the championship trophy.
With 45,594.3 points, Oakdale took back the Academic Decathlon title Saturday.
“Honestly, you know, watching the kids get medals today I felt like we were doing great, but I still wasn’t sure, until they announced it,” said Oakdale coach Dee Hawksworth of winning the title back. “And then it was just so exciting.”
Honestly, you know, watching the kids get medals today I felt like we were doing great, but I still wasn’t sure, until they announced it. And then it was just so exciting.
Oakdale coach Dee Hawksworth
Last year, Oakdale placed second after Hughson High School pull off an upset.
Oakdale had won the county’s academic decathlon for 16 years in a row since 2001 before the 2017 loss to Hughson.
This will be the 17th time Oakdale High School gets to represent Stanislaus County at the state finals March 23-24 in Sacramento.
Asked how her team will be preparing for the state finals Hawksworth said “We are going to practice Super Quiz more, definitely. That seems to be one of our weaknesses. And also we didn’t get as many medals in science as I like, so we are going to work on that one.”
For Joseph Navarro, this is his fourth year being part of the Academic Decathlon class but his first year actually competing in the event.
The 17-year old won medals in math, music and economics.
“I didn’t expect music, but I did try really hard for music so it makes sense,” said Navarro, an Oakdale senior.
Navarro is looking forward to the state competition.
“I heard so much about State being really fun,” Navarro said.
This year, Stanislaus County saw for the first time in the county’s history of the competition a tie for the Super Quiz as Ceres and Enochs high schools getting the same score.
Hughson High placed second with 40,902.1 points while Ceres High was third with 39,638.3 points.
“After so many schools were winning all those medals, and my kids were doing really well, but man, it was really closed,” said Hughson coach Paul Michaelis of being the runner-up this year. “I am just supper happy that we ended up in the position that we ended in.”
Michaelis said the team that came to the decathlon and won last year was a pretty much a completely different team from year since 13 of the 16 team members graduated in 2017.
“This group is really young,” Michaelis adding that he was very hopeful his team would place in the top three. “A lot of the teams here, Oakdale, Beyer (High School), Ceres, are strong teams.”
This was Hughson’s third year participating in the decathlon.
“Oakdale had a monster year, so being second to them nothing to be ashamed of,” said Michaelis.
Gabby Madrigal has been wanting to be part of the Hughson’s academic decathlon team for a couple of year but her schedule didn’t work out before until this year.
Madrigal, a senior, said she has liked her experience in the team.
“I really like it. It is a lot of hard work but I feel like I am getting a lot out of it,” said the 17-year-old student who also took several medals home.
The Challenge Cup Winner award went to Enochs High while the most Improved Team award went to Modesto High School.
Individual winner by division:
▪ Honors: Abhishek Devarajan, Enochs High (8,284.1 points)
▪ Scholastic: Jude Markel, Oakdale High (7,865.1 points)
▪ Varsity: Michael Dunn, Oakdale High (6,486.7 points)
▪ Alternate team member: Ryan Kummer, Oakdale High
▪ Essay winner: Rachel Thompson, Modesto High
Oakdale High (17): 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001
Modesto High (9): 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1987, 1986
Downey High (6): 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1982, 1981
Davis High (5): 1993, 1988, 1984, 1983, 1980
Hughson High (1): 2017
Central Catholic High (1): 1985