South’s brains stack up wins against brawn

Nashua High School South has had great success in sports. The basketball team has consistently made the playoffs, and the track team has produced a number of individual state champions.

However, far and away the most successful team at South is the math team, with five consecutive state championships and eight in its league.

"The math team has won a lot recently, and so we have gained some popularity as a result," said Aditi Srinivasan, a member of the Math Team and the school’s Science Bowl team.

However, Srinivasan says the higher level of attention comes mainly from administration and staff in the building.

"Sports are still far more popular among the students because they have a reputation for being more exciting," Srinivasan said.

Senior Samuel McIntyre, a member of the Granite State Challenge Team, which competes on the televised PBS show "Granite State Challenge," agrees.

"Unfortunately, the success we have had is undervalued by the student body," he said, just a few days after Nashua South defeated Bishop Guertin to advance to the semifinals of this year’s tournament.

But as McIntyre sees it, his and other students’ accomplishments in academic competitions "truly reflect what is great about South."

Nashua South Principal Keith Richard said he is proud of what his academics-minded students have accomplished.

"The success our students have had has been fantastic, and it really shows how great our students are," he said.

Many of these teams were created by student initiative. Kellie Gabriel, head math teacher at South and advisor for the math team, attributes much of the group’s success to student work.

"When the team first started, a student asked me if he could organize tryout questions to bring the team down to 10 students (the number that can compete). The idea of the captain running the practice sessions as well as producing the practice questions has been paramount to the team’s success," she said.

Aashish Welling, a member of the Science Bowl team and the Programming Club, summed up why administration is proud.

"South’s academic teams perform well in almost every competition, and compete with and often beat schools with greater reputations," he said.

The History Bowl team defeated Phillip’s Exeter Academy in November to win its second state championship in as many years.

Noah Telerski is a senior at Nashua High School South.