November 1, 2016
Not everybody has to be an athlete to be on a team. Some of Atholton’s best team achievements have come from school sponsored clubs, like the Math Team. The math team has won second place in 2013, third in 2014 and 2015, and is aiming for gold in 2016.
The Math Team is often overlooked, but it deserves school-wide recognition. Led by sponsor Ms. Sachs and captains Joseph Lui and Max Xuan, the Math Team is nothing to laugh about. Every Wednesday, mathletes gather in room A110 to practice for the upcoming meets against other Howard County teams.
Typically, Math Teams across Howard County are led by seniors, but this year Atholton’s team captains include senior Lui and junior Xuan.
“I run my team differently than most teams do,” said Ms. Sachs. “Most teams have two or three senior captains. I like to pick two captains: one senior and one junior. The reason I do that is because I believe that the junior captain can learn a lot more from the senior captain who really knows how to lead this team. This way, when it’s time for the 2017 season, Max will have experience as a captain and the team will already be comfortable with him.” Ms. Sachs has been using this method every since she started coaching and is never disappointed with its results.
“It’s an honor that in such a strong team with several other worthy candidates, I was seen as someone that the members trusted to be a leader of this team,” Xuan said. This is Xuan’s third year on the team, and he is hoping to create a positive atmosphere for the students around him. Xuan is familiar with the level of competition at these matches and looks forward to sharing his experience with the younger students on the team.
Although mathletes work individually, participation in the Math Team still involves a large amount of teamwork in order to come out on top. This is especially true when matched against competitive teams, such as River Hill and Centennial.
“Each member is extremely driven to best their previous scores, scores of other teams, and teammates in friendly competition. There’s no external motivation needed during practices and meets. Members are just naturally driven to perform at a high level,” said Xuan.
“Joseph and I create problems for every practice from this compilation based on what we believe members need to work on. In doing this, we strengthen a wide spectrum of skills that could potentially help members in competitions,” said Xuan.
“Joseph and I create problems for every practice from this compilation based on what we believe members need to work on. In doing this, we strengthen a wide spectrum of skills that could potentially help members in competitions,” said Xuan. This not only creates a better team bond, but it also shows how students work together in order to help each other and Atholton as a whole.
To boost team comradery, teammates love to bond over Ms. Sach’s cookies, while solving various math problems. These math problems “might not be in the competitions, but we are on math team right? No matter where we are together, we still love to do math, and that’s what we’ll do,” said Lui.
Like any other competition, there are still kinks that the team needs to work out. Many students find themselves rushing through the problems so fast only to find out they read the problem wrong. Believe it or not, this mistake occurs often during the meets, and it is something that Lui desperately wants to work on this season.
“Another issue with our team is that we’re too focused on outshining others, competing to be the best on the team,” said Xuan. “Although that can be a source of motivation, it ultimately distracts us from trying to be better than other schools. I even find myself aiming to beat Joseph or others rather than trying to improve myself and the team as a whole.”
Despite their few struggles, the Math Team as a whole holds great hopes for this school coming year. How far will the Math Team go this year? Well considering how well they’ve done the limit does not exist.