SHS Math Team Wins Their Division for the First Time


Lilly George

Lilly George captures the Math Team’s successful season during a selfie taken at Sharon High School

Ava Easterly, Staff Writer

Scituate High School offers an array of different clubs and activities; however, one club, in particular, has done what hasn’t been accomplished since 2001: This year, Scituate’s math team not only placed first in three out of four of their meets (placing second in the other), but they also came in first overall for their division, which earned them a seat at the playoffs.

This year’s team was led by SHS math teacher Phill Blake–as well as captains senior Lilly George and junior Louisa Kinsley. The team attributes their success this season to a rigorous practice schedule compared to previous years. The team holds 4-5 practices after school each month, always making sure to practice the Wednesday before meets. During these practices, team members use mock tests and timed question samples to simulate what they might encounter on competition day.

Competitions are structured into six different rounds: five individual rounds and one team round. Each individual round focuses on one subject of math. Round 1 is probability/arithmetic; Round 2 is algebra one; Round 3 is geometry; Round 4 is algebra two; Round 5 is trigonometry, and Round 6 is the team round.

Each competitor from the respective teams can only “score” in 3 of the 5 rounds, so strategy is key to winning first place. On competition day, Scituate arrives with 10 “scorers” (members of the team who accumulate points in their selected rounds), and all other team members act as “alternates” (students who do all the same rounds and problems, but their work is not scored). 

Each scorer has the opportunity to accumulate 18 points total, which represents a perfect score. Although this is very uncommon, Scituate’s math phenom, junior Jack Ronneberg, has achieved an 18 on several occasions. Ronneberg is highly ranked in the state for his accomplishments in mathematics competitions and has played a large part in pushing this year’s team to victory. 

The SHS math team competes against many surrounding schools, including Notre Dame Academy, Cohasset, Norwell, Weymouth, and Hingham. The SHS rivalry with Hingham has enjoyed a playful but tense dynamic ever since Blake took over the team in 2018–especially since Hingham’s coach is Blake’s wife, Hingham math teacher Tara Blake, who teaches the same courses as her husband, Algebra and Computer Science. When asked about the stakes of the rivalry, Phill Blake explained, “The winner of the meet gets to pick where we get dinner on Thursday night after the meet.”

The Scituate High School math team has created a close tight-knit community for those dedicated to math and welcomes anyone with a little math grit and determination next season!