Westover Academic Team Wins Awards - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Westover Academic Team Wins Awards

By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Another award winning team celebrated a championship at Westover High School in Albany today, but it wasn't in sports.

It was the academic decathlon team. While three pointers may not be their specialty, there are other skills that this group of champions brings to the table. Skills that won them individual medals.

Like the ones brought home by Matthew Thornhill: "I won one in social studies, one in music and one in art."

And enough points to take the overall championship, fending off strong challenges from Albany High and Dougherty High in the regional competition in January. While art wouldn't seem to be that difficult of a subject, just listen to one of the questions in that category.

"The picture American Gothic, what is it similar to? And they would give you three other pictures, but not just paintings it would also be photography," said Thornhill.

But like every winning team, the road to a title goes back a long way.

There was practice: "they would come in either morning or afternoon. And we would discuss the Great Depression, the Grapes of Wrath. And look at photographs and pieces of art and listen to music," said Terri Satterfield, the coach of the team.

And one other thing that would be familiar to any sports coach - recruiting.

"I went throughout the building and started noticing kids and started pulling them in," said Satterfield.

While Westover is the regional champion, their season isn't done yet. Just like in the playoffs, it's survive and advance. The next stop is Lilburn, for the state competition. But regardless of what happens there, these kids have already become stars on campus.

Satterfield said, "one of our members walked into his class yesterday and the whole class started standing up and cheering."

That's created interest in joining the team from some unexpected quarters.

"I've even had some of the football players and basketball players come and ask if they can be on it next year," said Satterfield.

And if their success continues, in the future spots on this team will be as coveted as they are for any other team on campus.

The state academic decathlon will be held February 25th and 26th.

Two students from Westover won gold in individual categories last year.

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