Lin blows through CHS Academic Decathlon record


Wren Lee

Coppell High School Vincent Lin displays his seven Academic Decathlon (AcDec) medals in B211 on Wednesday afternoon. Lin achieved a 948.1 out of 1,000 overall score in the Academic Decathlon State Competition, the highest overall score in CHS history.

Pramika Kadari, Staff Writer

For Coppell High School senior Vincent Lin, arriving home from marching band practice at 7 to 8 p.m. everyday, staying up late to finish homework and cramming in time to study for Academic Decathlon was daily life for most of his first semester.


Academic Decathlon is an extracurricular at CHS led by CHS teachers Tim Dixon and Jessica Short, and focuses on competitive test taking.


From Feb. 23-25, Lin participated in the 2018 Academic Decathlon State competition along with the rest of the CHS AcDec team. The team placed fourth in the state, rising four places from its regional ranking of eighth place. With 948.1 points out of 1000, Lin earned the second-highest score in the state, and the highest cumulative score ever received in CHS history.


“I was shocked [when I found out my score.],” Lin said. “I didn’t expect that to happen. There were so many great people before me that I look up to. I saw how amazing they did, and I tried to emulate them, but I never expected to beat their scores.”


Although his achievement came as a surprise, Lin did go into the competition with ambitious goals.


“I saw my regional score compared to other people, and I knew I could win [at state],” Lin said. “So my main goal was to do everything I can to possibly get first.”


Lin was considering joining the AcDec team for his sophomore year, but did not make the leap until his junior year. Since then, he has grown into a leadership position on the team, filling the shoes of co-captain well.


“[Lin has] become a natural leader,” Short said. “He went from being new to AcDec to an absolute captain. He’s been encouraging people really well, too. It’s been an amazing transformation.”


Competing in AcDec is a rigorous journey, and Lin began studying his material over the summer, knowing he would be busy with school and band during the semester. Despite his full schedule, Lin managed to squeeze in study-time, even reviewing his notes during his passing periods. In the eyes of his coaches, his achievements are well-deserved- a result of his consistent dedication.


“[Lin] has a lot of focus,” AcDec science coach Susan Sheppard said. “He sets a goal, then looks at it, and works on achieving it. And that’s it.”

[Lin] has a lot of focus. He sets a goal, then looks at it, and works on achieving it.”

— Susan Sheppard

As only the top team of each state advances to the national competition, the CHS team will not be advancing. Due to his top individual place, Lin is eligible to compete virtually in the national competition; however, he is hesitant to do so.


“I don’t think I will [compete in the national competition.], Lin said. “It’s more time spent, and also such a big part of AcDec is the team environment. If I do it individually, I’m not with the team, so I’ll feel empty.”


Lin’s coaches are somewhat disappointed in his decision.


“It’s a shame that Vincent isn’t competing [in the national competition], I know he would do well,” Sheppard said. “But also, virtual competitions aren’t as exciting as the real thing.”