Members of Fossil’s DECA team attend a virtual nationals

The Fossil Ridge DECA logo is displayed on their website.

Fossil Ridge DECA

The Fossil Ridge DECA logo is displayed on their website.

Jordan Brownhill, Staff Writer

For students who want to build a business centered career, preparing for any given scenario is an important part of learning. At Fossil Ridge High School, students have the opportunity to participate in a program called DECA, which allows them to practice dealing with challenging situations they may be facing in their future.

DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America. A DECA team participates in individual or partner events that challenge them to deal with a given business centered scenario.

Fossil’s DECA team, through thick and thin, has persevered their way through a tough season onto the national competition. In a normal season, the entire team would first participate in districts, in which they would compete against the four Poudre School District high schools. If a participant makes it through districts, they would move onto state, and then, if successful, make it through to nationals.

A national competition for DECA would normally take place over the span of five days, in which the team would travel out of state to the competition with the other schools. However this year, with the competition’s format being completely virtual, the tournament was stretched out over three weeks.

Although this year was a strange one, Fossil’s DECA team had twelve students make it through to nationals. Although no one from Fossil’s team made it to the top ten, Andy Stevens, an advisor on the team, was adamant that the amount of qualifiers Fossil had was impressive in and of itself. He remarked, “I feel good about that. I think that’s a win.” 

Going into nationals, the team knew they would not be able to have a typical nationals like years past. Stevens commented that the advisor team hoped that the students would at least feel connected to the school in some way, despite the lack of normalcy on the team. “For a lot of our students DECA is their primary connection to Fossil Ridge,” Stevens commented. He clarified that, for many DECA participants, the team acts as their main extracurricular, so it was important to make sure that the year was as engaging as possible.

Despite the relief the team felt with having so many participants competing in nationals in such a strange year, there was still some disappointment about the lack of build-up and excitement in regards to the team’s nationals. “Because of this year, you know, it’s just kind of been a blip on the radar,” Stevens said, thinking of how, in years past, the team received more acknowledgement for their big competition.

After a year of strange circumstances, of losing opportunities, of lacking interaction with loved ones, Stevens recalled the fun times from years past. “Staying in a hotel room with your friends, staying up until all hours of the night… those are the memories that they remember from DECA, not what the roleplay scenario was.”