Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Reitz Memorial Academic Decathlon Team Takes Top State Honors

Photo submitted by Reitz Memorial High School, Evansville

The Reitz Memorial High School Academic Decathlon team once again led the state in the 33rd annual state finals of the Indiana Academic Decathlon, held at Purdue University on Feb. 9-10.  Twelve teams were a part of the event, despite weather conditions that prohibited some teams from participating. Reitz Memorial received special recognition as the Small School Division State Champion for 2018.


Each high school enters a team of nine students: 3 "A" or Honor students (3.750 - 4.00 GPA), 3 "B" or Scholastic students (3.00 - 3.749 GPA), and 3 "C or below" Varsity students (0.00 - 2.999 GPA). The competition is made up of 10 events with objective tests in seven areas (art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science and social science) as well as speech, interview and essay.


Members of the Reitz Memorial Academic Decathlon team include seniors Alena Coleman, Mara Gleason, Quentin Rose, James Vincent, Brandon Weisman, and juniors Olivia Huelsing, Jordan Lasher and Peyton Shake. This is the fifth consecutive state title for Memorial, led by faculty member Bob Exline, now in his 24th year of coaching. Exline has led Memorial to 10 state championships over his two-plus decades of coaching.


“Memorial is a great place to allow students to shine no matter where their interests lie,” Exline told The Message. “We are glad we can continue to represent the excellence shown in everything we do at Memorial High School.  The school has obviously had a great year in athletics, and our team reinforces that we are able to achieve at an extremely high level in academics, too.”


The top two teams from the state will travel to Frisco, Texas, in April to compete in the 2018 United States Athletic Decathlon Nationals. Despite the long history of wins, this is only the second time Memorial will participate at the National level.  Past competition rules allowed only one team from each state to compete, but a change in the rules now allow both the small and large school champions to compete at the national level.