Athletes & Mathletes Win County Academic Decathlon


Taylor Burns, Journalist


Armuchee High School’s Academic Decathlon team won the recent district competition on January 12th. Academic Decathlon consists of 10 different academic events: Literature, Math, Art, Music, Economics, Science, Social Science, Speech, Essay, and Argument. English teacher, Melanie Floyd, and math teacher, Tammy Boston, are the AHS advisors for the team. The Academic Decathlon team consists of Seniors: Mathew Campbell, Aidan Mowery, Braden Hood, and Tate Burnham; Juniors: Kaili Wheeler, Lauren Butler, Emalee Collins, Benjamin Cranford, and Logan Hunton.  At their regular competitions, they take tests in different subjects. They also compete in a Super Quiz where team members work together in a quiz bowl atmosphere with 7 seconds to answer each question. Floyd said, “Now we are headed to the state competition at the end of February.”The state competition at the end of February will be held at Kennesaw State. Floyd said, “We have to do an essay, an interview, and a speech for the state competition.” 

This year is the first year in a while that they have gotten to compete normally because of Covid. Tate Burnham said, “The past couple of years, we’ve usually gone to the library or other quiet areas here at the school and completed the speech and interviews on our own Chromebooks.”  However, this year they returned to a countywide competition in-person at the College and Career Academy, where all of the teams from Floyd County get to be in the same room together. Burnham said, “It was a much more enjoyable experience.”

Senior Mathew Campbell prepared individually by reading the provided material and studying the subjects they were going to be tested on. Campbell said, “My individual goal would be to place in a category at state.”The Academic Decathlon members also prepare together as a team. Campbell said, “We talk about how we best function as a team, who is filling the different categories, and discuss everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.” Hunton is a new member of Academic Decathlon, but he also works very hard preparing for the competitions. He said, “I individually prepare  by reading a lot of my books at home, which are filled to the brim with different factoids that may come in handy.” Hunton would like to score high enough to contribute to the team at state and possibly even get to nationals.

The team also will often have study sessions so that they can prepare together. Hunton said, “Usually we’ll go to Lumina and just crunch down on one subject at a time.” Campbell participates in Academic Decathlon because he believes it’s a good way to promote our school. Hunton said, “It’s a really cool and fun experience, regardless of the long length of tests you are required to take. It also lets you meet some fun people and have a good time with people you’ve never met before.” The team enjoys spending time with each other and making memories. Burnham said, “A lot of the people on my team are my friends that I either got to know through the team or I’ve gotten to know them through other classes, but we have a good time and we joke around and know how to enjoy ourselves without the competition.”

The Academic Decathlon team had several wins from various categories:

Honors: 1st place: Emalee Collins in Music and Social Science; 2nd place: Aidan Mowery in Art, Economics, Music, and Social Science; Mathew Campbell in literature, Emalee Collins in math, Benjamin Cranford in Science and Social Science; 3rd place: Mathew Campbell in art.

Scholastic: 1st place: Tate Burnham in Art, Economics, Music, Science, and Social Science; Braden Hood in Math; 2nd place: Logan Hunton in Art. 3rd place: Tate Burnham in Literature, Logan Hunton in Music.

Varsity: 1st place Kali Wheeler in Art and Literature; 2nd place Kaili Wheeler and Lauren Butler in Economics, Lauren Butler in Literature, and Kaili Wheeler in Music; 3rd place: Jared Weatherford in Music, Kali Wheeler in Science, Jared Weatherford and Lauren Butler in Social Science.