MONMOUTH — Monmouth Academy recently won the Maine Academic Decathlon, edging out perennial champion Scarborough High School in an all-day competition at Scarborough High School.

“We were in total shock to know that we won. It was so cool,” said Becki Bryant, who was high scorer for Monmouth with 11 medals at the competition held Feb. 27.

The team now is beginning to raise money for a trip at the end of April to the U.S. Academic Decathlon in Anchorage, Alaska.

Cathy and Scott Foyt are co-coaches of Monmouth’s Academic Decathlon team. The husband and wife have been coaching Decathlon for 19 years. In 31 years, starting in 1986, Monmouth has won the academic competition five times. Scarborough High School has won the contest all the other years. The last time Monmouth won it was in 2004.

This year, 10 Maine high schools sent 11-member teams — three students with A averages, three with B averages and three with C averages and two alternates — to the competition. They competed in 10 categories: art, economics, essay, interview, language/literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech. There is also a Super Quiz. There is an overall study theme that changes every year. This year’s theme was India. Next year it will be World War II.

Monmouth scored 36,349 points in this year’s competition, edging Scarborough, which scored 35,987 points. Following those two were Bangor High School in third place, Hall-Dale High School in fourth place and Calais High School in fifth place. Also competing were Cheverus High School, Deering High School, Portland High School, Thornton Academy and Woodland High School.

At Monmouth Academy, the Academic Decathlon team studies together as a team for a year before the state competition.

Team members don’t mind putting in an hour a day on the decathlon as well as studying at home.

“I love meeting here with you guys,” Corey Tatarka said.

“This is the best part of my day,” agreed Luke Thombs.

Team members said their achievements don’t go unnoticed by the rest of the students at Monmouth Academy.

“My friends are proud of how we did,” Sammy Grandahl said.

Coach Scott Foyt said the team was successful in many categories and got a lot of support.

“We had a lot of parents and faculty who went down and cheered us on,” he said.

Now the team’s attention turns to fundraising for the trip to Alaska, where competition will be held on April 28 and 29 and an awards banquet will take place April 30. The Monmouth team will fly to Anchorage on April 26 and return to Maine on the night of April 30 and May 1.

“We’ve already reserved the rooms in Alaska and the airline tickets,” said Scott Foyt. “We always do that ahead of time. We will have some time for sight-seeing, but it’s going to be hectic. It’s going to be real fast-paced.”

The Monmouth team went to the National Decathlon in Minnesota in 2013, when Monmouth was state runner-up and small-school champion.

Scott Foyt said about 35 U.S. teams compete at the national level, plus some teams from foreign countries.

“A lot of these teams are charter schools and they take the Academic Decathlon as their curriculum, and they do very, very well,” he said.

The team will stay at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel, which is where the National Academic Decathlon will be held.

Cathy Foyt said it’s estimated the trip will cost about $9,800. The team is soliciting donations from businesses and urging local restaurants to hold fundraisers for the trip. She said alumni may also be asked to contribute to money to help pay for the trip.

More information about how to donate money can be found on the Monmouth Maine Community News and Notices Facebook page.

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