While the Kingman Academy of Learning academic decathlon team earned third place honors at regional, they are looking to take the 3A championship at state.
"We are the highest qualifying 3A school and have a chance at winning the 3A state championship," Coach Michael Suchowierski said.
Senior co-captain Susan Pierce shared Suchowierski's positive outlook.
"I feel confident," Pierce said. "I think everyone is doing what they need to do to win the 3A championship."
The 15th-ranked KAOL team will participate in the state tournament on March 7 and 8 at Mountain Point High. The tournament will feature the top 40 schools that qualified from the statewide field of 98 schools from the 1A to 5A levels.
"I'm hoping that we can possibly get in the top 10 teams if we work hard enough," senior co-captain Rachel Brackett said.
Brackett led the team with a score of 7,503 at the Region I tournament at Show Low High on Feb. 1-2.
"It was pretty nerve wracking," Brackett said. "It was nothing I haven't experienced because I've been doing this for four years."
The KAOL Tigers took third among the 20 teams competing with a score of 36,593 out of 60,000.
"I feel like there is room to improve, but I feel very confident in our team," Brackett said.
For the 22nd year in a row, St. Johns High took first place with a score of 42,000 and Scottsdale Christian Academy took second.
The academic decathlon includes 10 contests revolving this year around the Civil War.
They range from art to economics and include interview, public and impromptu speaking, and a super quiz.
The teams consist of nine students subdivided into groups of three based on grade-point averages.
The Honors Team features students with a 3.75 to 4 GPA. The KAOL team is comprised of Brackett, sophomore Charlie Pierce and Susan Pierce.
The Scholastic Team features students with a 3 to 3.74 GPA. Sophomore Jenna Lewis, senior Cotey Noble and senior Sean Phillips make up the KAOL squad.
The Varsity Team features students with a below-3 GPA. The KAOL side consists of sophomore Lane Fujikado, senior Tara Hopkins and sophomore Kendall Slack.
The individual award winners at the tournament for KAOL were:
Brackett: first place interview, second place art, second place language and literature, second place essay and third place super quiz.
Susan Pierce: first place interview, first place language and literature, second place speech, third place science and third place super quiz.
Charlie Pierce: second place super quiz and second place science.
Lewis: second place art, third place math and third place science.
Noble: second place interview.
Hopkins: third place economics, third place math and third place science.
Fujikado: second place essay.
"I was very proud of how everyone did," Susan Pierce said. "I didn't expect as many people to place as we did."