Team from St. Ignatius School in Sacramento wins 2019 Academic Decathlon state championship

The team from St. Ignatius of Loyola School in Sacramento has won the 2019 Academic Decathlon state championship.

On April 6, the 10 California Catholic schools that had each prevailed at their Diocese Academic Decathlon competitions faced each other at St, Pius School in Redwood City. This was the 12th year in a row St. Ignatius Parish School has triumphed at the local competition earning the right to represent the Diocese of Sacramento at the state competition

“We are so proud of our students, coaches and parents,” said Patty Kochis, principal of St. Ignatius School. “Literally thousands of hours go into preparing for this competition. We are honored to have represented the Diocese of Sacramento at the statewide competition.”

A dedicated group of teachers and parents coached the team resulting in very impressive results at the State Competition: 1st place Overall, 1st place in Logic, 3rd place in the Super Quiz, 1st place in Religion and Science, 2nd place in Social Studies, Math and Fine Arts, 3rd place in Literature, and 5th place in English.

“The sincere and tireless dedication of these students never ceases to impress me,” explained Erin McGraw, head coach. “The students' ability to collaborate with, support and help one another is a testament to the success of the team, and truly embodies the Ignatian theme of men and women for others.”

The St. Ignatius Academic Decathlon team represents a broad spectrum of the school’s student body. In addition to their full school academic schedule, they are student council members, members on numerous school and club athletic teams, play piano, altar servers, and highly involved with various service organizations. These students were able to balance their time studying on weekends, during their lunch recess, in the evenings and on holidays. Their coaches and parents have arranged their own schedules to be available to support them along the way.  

“The kids were so excited. All the studying and months of preparation paid off,” said Carlos Contreras, Logic Coach.

The state competition has required a tough regimen of almost nonstop practice and review since October, but the students said it was well worth the effort.

"It's a lot of sacrifice - not only your time and thought but your whole person - but being part of this tradition is something that makes a lasting impression. It affects your character and how you tackle tough situations, and it inspires you to go above and beyond, for yourself and your teammates." said team member Kate Cockerton, whose special event is religion and was the Super Quiz team captain.

The Academic Junior High Decathlon is a competition for students in grades 6-8. There are 10 events. Two are collaborative team efforts – a logic quiz with 20 rigorous complex problems, and a super quiz with 50 multiple choice questions on five broad academic themes. The event culminated in a 50-question “Super Quiz,” where students test their knowledge in five subject areas: science, social studies, literature, fine art and religion. Some of the topics the team was quizzed on during the exciting final event included the Public Works Art Project of the 1930s, the technology and innovations of the Depression Era, and the New Deal.

This is the second state title for St. Ignatius School. To view an interview with the students on the team from St. Ignatius School on Good Day Sacramento visit


Religion - Kate Cockerton - 8th Grade

Science - Griffin Maloy - 8th Grade

Math - Veronica Hartono. - 7th Grade

Fine Arts - Erica Pham. - 7th Grade

Social Studies - MJ Gillis. - 8th Grade

Literature - Camille Alvarez - 7th Grade

English - Mason Fat – 8th Grade

Current Events - Tommy Goyette – 8th Grade 

Logic and Super Quiz - Arielle Montevirgen – 7th Grade

Logic and Super Quiz - Irene Cretu – 6th Grade

Head Coach – Erin McGraw

Logic Coach – Carlos Contreras