Tulelake High School’s Academic Decathlon team placed a close second at the recent Modoc County competition, and according to the team’s coach, Matt Hartung, “We would have won hands-down if we would have had the whole team there. Unfortunately, illnesses caused the team to have only seven present.

Still Matt Hartung said that everyone on the team had an excellent day, and that their hard practice paid off.

Jolette Hernandez thought that being on the AcaDeca team was very exciting.”It was exciting going as a team with my coach after all the hard work we did. I formed bonds with people I never thought I would have.”

Jorge Alvarado said that he gained social skills with Aca Deca. He gained confidence and was more comfortable talking in public places. “My second year was easier because I had the basics down.”

Cooper Hall was not thinking he would get a medal especially against older students and answering trigonometry questions. “I used critical thinking skills, which helped me in math. All the studying helped me win a medal in music.”

Omar Hernandez thinks that Mr.Hartung deserves the most thanks for how well the team did. At first, Omar didn't think about joining the team until Mr.Hartung approached him. “I think Mr.Hartung is the major person to thank. He helped us in the months before the contest making sure we were studying the right material.”

Ricardo Borrayo said Aca Deca (short for Academic Decathlon), helped him personally to be less nervous around people and to speak to groups. “I was very nervous before Aca Deca, and ‘Speech Practice’ has helped me to be less nervous and Aca Deca can be used on applications for colleges.”

Samantha Martinez was really nervous about doing her speech right up until it started but then her nervousness went away because of all the practice she had done. She felt more confident this year and “Although I didn’t win a medal, I think I improved a lot.”

Kevin Larsen will have a lasting memory about his competition. He will remember most getting the gold for his interview. “They seemed to be very interested in the struggle I have had ”where I have a name that is not Latino and the struggles I have faced because of that.”

Mark Niebert wasn't really nervous, but was very satisfied with his performances. He mentioned that all the practice is what helped him do well.

School Reporters: Kim, Jesus, Yani, Ramses, Adi


Front left to right:Samantha Martinez, Jolette Hernandez, Mark Niebert, Jorge Alvarado

Back left to right:Cooper Hall, Omar Hernandez, Kevin Larsen Pena