Hemet High School’s Academic Decathlon team had HICCUPS .

No, it’s not spelled wrong, it stands for Honesty, Integrity, Character, Class, Upstanding People and Students.  It all came out at the 30th Annual Riverside Country Academic Decathlon Awards Ceremony.


On Saturday, February 2, 2013, the team traveled to Heritage High School for their finals on the Super Quiz and awards program.  The varsity team got out to a great effort scoring many 3’s.  The Scholastic and Varsity kept pace and everyone else was calculating the running score as the event kept going.  One stoppage occurred as one team did not have the correct, or enough members on it.  As the administration got it all sorted out, the event continued through each 12 question round.


As the Super Quiz concluded, HHS team coach Mr. Plinski said it was going to be close and they wouldn’t know how close it was until the awards that evening which were suppose to start at 4:30 p.m.  That time came and went and then an apology came out that they were working with the software to make sure they had everything exactly correct.  Finally the awards ceremony at about 5:45 p.m., with all of the students sitting patiently in their seats the whole time.  All the teams were announced and then the moment of truth began to be revealed.  As each division of student tests scores were announced, Decathletes moved up on to the stage to receive their medal of achievement and had their photo’s taken.


Hemet High scored well throughout the evening, but so did West Valley HS and Elsinore HS, with the three teams dominating the stage and a few other schools occasionally sneaking in.  This was going to be close.


After all the individual awards were presented, the winner of the speech contest was asked to deliver her winning performance, Brianna Taylor took to the podium and delivered her speech to the audience.


Then the big moment came when the announcement of the Super Quiz and overall winners were to be.  The anxiety grew with each school name called out starting with fifth place.  Hemet High was surprised, amazed, stunned when they found out that they had won the Super Quiz.  The students jumped for joy and went up on stage to collect their trophy.  The overall presentation and the decathletes were on the edge of their seats as Elisnore was announced as third place.  It was then between Hemet High and West Valley.  As the second place team was announced, Hemet had mixed emotions as it heard it’s name called.  West Valley had won first place.


Hemet High’s Academic Coaching veteran, Art Plinski had done the math however, and knew something wasn’t’ right.  He continued to discuss his calculations with his students and they knew they had to find out more, because more than anything academic, Honesty, Integrity, Character, Class, and Upstanding People and Students were more important than the win or place.  There was an error, Hemet actually placed third in the Super Quiz and third overall.  The team then gave up their higher place medals to the rightful teams and got their correct medals.


All the hours, study and practice that went into preparing for this moment, the long nights and early days, the practice speeches and interview had prepared them to do the best they could.  But above all that, the Bulldogs showed that as a school, winning took a back seat to being Honest, having Integrity, Class and Character, and being Upstanding People and Students (HICCUPS) were more important.


Congratulations Bulldogs, we ARE PROUD of you!

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