“ACDAC” wants to “WET”

Academic Decathlon Team Wants to “Win Every Time”


Paige Trentanelli, Staff Writer

The West Geauga High School Academic Decathlon Team (ACDAC) held its own versus 13-time district competition winner, Oakwood, at the state competition this year.

WET is an acronym with a special meaning to the West Geauga Academic Decathlon Team. It stands for “Win Every Time” and was a phrase used during the 2022 state competition when at least one West Geauga team member medaled in each of the academic topics. 

These topics include art, literature, science, social science or history, economics, math, music, essay, interview, and speech. Unfortunately, most of the students who medaled were seniors, including Aiden Murley-Schaffer, Noah Carty, Delia Misterka, Julia Mansfield, Parker Long, and Aiden Bindokasz. Considering that those seniors would not be on the 2022-2023 team, high school “ACDAC” coach, and high school social studies teacher, Mr. Ben Speros knew that the underclassmen on the team were going to have to step up their games. Current junior, Samantha Fanger, shared her preparation process for the literature section, explaining that she, “…prepared by getting an overview of the book” for the literature topic area.

Oakwood is an, “…amazing and highly competitive team and it is always a challenge to compete against them,” explained junior Bridget Bellett, who is currently on the team. She added that Oakwood is known at a national level for their academic skills. One member in particular, Rohan Haack, the highest-scoring honors student on Oakwood’s team, scored 1,000 in the essay section. 1,000 is the highest score an individual can score in a single subject, and to receive a 1,000 in any topic in academic decathlon is almost equivalent to getting a 36 on an ACT. So…the competition was stiff.

During the regional competition, West Geauga won 82 medals out of 90 in their district category, but, while facing Oakwood, this wasn’t exactly the case. “They keep us on our toes,” Bridget mentioned. The West G team accepted the challenge and went head-to-head with Oakwood during the state competition. Many members of the team were able to steal a medal from Oakwood in subjects like literature, speech, and interview. Medal winners include sophomore Robert Vash, sophomore Owen Roberts, junior Bridget Bellett, senior Rey Lifford, senior Carmen Gomez-Punales, senior Emily Berdis, senior Nicole Radatz, and juniors Dakota Scott, Natalie George, and Jayden Thompson

Winning medals is nice, but there were other great experiences that members of the team were able to experience at the state competition. Team member Natalie George said, “Meeting new people from other schools and, like, supporting everyone when people won medals is kind of nice.” 

The academic decathlon team also enjoyed feasts of food at their regional and state events. Their favorites included donuts, chips, juice boxes, cookies, and (for Rey Lifford) a lot of cotton candy grapes. 

Congrats on a good season, and we are looking forward to seeing what the academic decathlon team does next year!