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April 17, 2014

DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

DUNCAN — Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

The team qualified for the national decathlon tournament, which will take place April 22 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The team qualified for the national championship after experiencing victory at the state event in Lawton.

“It’s not every day you go to nationals,” Terri Bruce, team member, said. “This is by far the most exciting thing that’s happened to me. I’m a senior, and this is my last year.”

The high school added a decathlon team during the 2012-13 school year. In its season, the team placed second at state.

Shep Pamplin, team sponsor, said this year’s success will result in numerous experiences for the students. Pamplin said this will be the first time on an airplane or to see the ocean for some of the students.

Pamplin said the decathlon program is intense for the students, but the trip will make all their hard work worthwhile.

Part of the competition will feature the students presenting prepared speeches. The students will also have to present speeches over topics selected that day. Team member Sam Perry is among the students who will compete in a job interview category, where he will have to answer questions as if he were trying to get a job.

Perry said he’s excited for the competition and the trip.

“It’s definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Perry said. “Being part of the decathlon is a great experience. You learn a lot outside the classroom.”

Bruce said many of the team members are also involved in other teams, whether its the speech team, the academic team or the drama team. She said groups, like the decathlon team, teach the students about team work and leadership.

For the decathlon team, each student specializes in select areas. Perry’s strong suit is literature. Bruce is strong in music. Skip Parks said his greatest strength is in the category of history.

Parks said one of the primary reasons the team is getting to go on the trip is because of community support. The community has helped the team raise $20,000 for the trip through various fundraisers and donations.

The team members also attribute the success of the team to Pamplin.

“Nothing would be possible without him,” Perry said. “He’s pushed us to new limits.”

Other students on the team include Andie Beth Fitts, Niki Spagnola, Elisha Gillett, Sam Holthe, Victor Galvan, Terrell Cox and Josephine Hirscu.

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