HANFORD — Tom Brady may have snagged his sixth championship ring in Sunday’s Super Bowl, but the New England Patriots wasn’t the only team that won big this past weekend.
For an impressive seventh year in a row, the team from Lemoore Middle College High School has won the Kings County Academic Decathlon.
The competition, which culminated with the Super Quiz event on Saturday, was held at Sierra Pacific High School.
Dozens of students from Avenal High School, Corcoran High School, Hanford High School, Hanford West High School, Lemoore High School, Lemoore Middle College High School and Sierra Pacific High School competed in a rigorous set of academic examinations demonstrating their versatility in a variety of academic categories.
This year’s theme was “The 1960s.”
Each team is comprised of “A”, “B” and “C” students. Team members participated in ten grueling events in the Academic Decathlon, including Art, Economics, Mathematics, Music, Language & Literature, Social Science and Science — most of which relate to the theme in some way.
In addition, the contestants performed prepared and impromptu speeches, wrote essays on a given topic and participated in interview competitions. The last event, the Super Quiz, is where students take a quiz in a relay format while the audience cheers them on.
Lemoore Middle College High School, coached by Allen Tong, was announced the winning Decathlon team with 51,639.4 points. The team also won the Super Quiz with 4,830 points.
Reached Tuesday, Tong said winning the county competition for the seventh time in a row is a reflection of the culture the school tries to promote.
“We encourage high achievement and hard work,” Tong said. “Our team has a desire to do well and is willing to work hard to achieve that goal.”
Part of that hard work included not only time studying in class and on breaks throughout the year, but after school study sessions and Saturday study sessions, Tong said.
He said the team has a very dedicated group of students who encouraged each other and helped each other learn the curriculum, which they received in July.
“Studying the material can be a grind at times, but the students work together and try to keep each other positive and focused,” Tong said.
The team will now advance to the California State Academic Decathlon competition in Sacramento March 22-23. He said if they are fortunate, the team could also receive an invitation to the National Academic Decathlon Championship held in Bloomington, Minnesota in April.
At the event awards ceremony, individual medals and scholarships were also won by students from each participating high school. More than $5,700 in scholarships was awarded to top placing Kings County students.
Any contributions to help the winning Academic Decathlon team to travel to the state finals would be appreciated. Donations can be sent directly to Tong at Lemoore Middle College High School, 555 College Ave., Lemoore.