Calling All Math and Pizza Loving Students

Abington Math Team Might Be the Place for You!

Cameron Curney, Staff Writer

During a student’s years in high school it is not uncommon to hear them voice a dislike towards mathematics.  The groans towards geometry, the ails of algebra, and the all too familiar crankiness towards calculus. Plain and simple, most students have trouble connecting to math material and some just don’t like it.   

However, students on the Math Team don’t share these same feelings. Students like Brian Tolan (’21) and Julia Do (’19).

Reflecting on his first year on the Math Team, Tolan believes that it “is definitely something that has allowed me to excel in mathematics.”  Tolan found Math Team “thoroughly enjoyable” and says his favorite memory from the year was, “getting [his] first point.”

Do, who was a high scoring junior at the last meet this season, has been a member since her freshman year. She joined the team for two reasons: “one for the free pizza and two my sister Theresa said it was fun.”  Being on Math Team led to one of her favorite high school memories.

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[Math Team] …offers students the opportunity to compete alongside fellow students in a safe environment.

— Mr. Holzman

Do recalls her rookie season when “…the team got first place and we all started screaming. Then Tyler Moulton jumped on a table and was screaming.”  Do describes it as “unforgettable” and “by far the best thing to happen on Math Team.”

As an upperclassman, Do hopes more people join, “especially underclassman.”  She adds “it’s a lot of fun.”

Math teacher and Math Team advisor Matthew Holzman (2014-present) believes membership in the club “offers students the opportunity to compete alongside fellow students in a safe environment.”  It gives students who are less comfortable with mathematics a place to engage in more difficult topics with a team.  Topics which might seem very menacing handling alone.  

Mr. Holzman appreciates how “typically, a strong bond forms among the students, and kids seem to have a lot of fun….it’s great giving kids the chance of belonging on a team.”  

At Math Meets, 10 students from each school compete in three individual rounds and then the group of 10 splits into two teams for the team round.  In each round students answer three questions the first worth one point, the second worth two, and the third three.  Each point a student earns goes to their school’s total score.  High scorers at each meet are announced at the end of the meet.  Overall school placing is also announced.   

If a student is not interested in competing but still would like to join the team, these students can act as alternates. Alternates receive scores; their points are just not counted towards their teams overall score.

Abington High School is a division five school in the South Shore League.  Its competitors include Bridgewater-Raynham, East Bridgewater, Hanover, Rockland, West Bridgewater, and Whitman-Hanson. This year, Abington’s Math Team came in 3rd, 7th, 4th, and 4th.  

From November to February, meets are held the first Thursday of each month.  This season the meets were held, in order, at Hanover, Rockland, East Bridgewater, and Abington.  Teams with enough points and a good enough record can make it into the league playoffs in March and if they do well there they may end up at the state playoffs in April.  

If a student is interested in joining the team but does not consider themselves good at math, Mr. Holzman stresses that “… [students] will not be punished for making mistakes.  Although the problems are quite hard, team members always encourage one another.”  He adds, “…whether we come in first or last place, all that matters is that everybody has fun.  Also, there is free pizza!”   

Check out the Southeastern Massachusetts Mathematics League website: