By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — A team of Pinkerton Academy students came out on top and advanced to the next level on this season’s “Granite State Challenge.”
Students beat a team from Hanover recently with a score of 250-180 and now advance to a quarterfinal match in New Hampshire Public Television’s academic-based quiz show.
The show emphasizes a student’s talent for quick recall of information in all major subjects, including math, science, language and fine arts, and social studies.
Pinkerton’s team has six members, four of whom appear in the regular televised programs and two alternates.
In the most recent win, students appearing on camera were team captain Ben Foley, Sara Tridenti, Jake Hudgins and Joe Ronca. Alternate members are Rebekah Terry and Adam DeMio.
Led by advisors Peter Crowell and Pam Griswold, the team practices between competitions with hand-held buzzers to give the quickest answers possible.
Pinkerton made the “Challenge” cut this season, earning a spot in the final 16-team lineup out of 52 school teams that began the process hoping to eventually take the coveted Super Challenge title.
Crowell said his students are driven and very smart.
“Hanover is a perennial powerhouse,” Crowell said. “We were fortunate to come out on top.”
Challenge shows are taped ahead of time and then televised weekly. Although Pinkerton has several contests already in the bag, Crowell said students are good about keeping their results a secret until that program airs.
The win over Hanover was broadcast last Saturday.
Tridenti is a junior and said the team is very close. Foley, a senior, said the program is a great way to hone quick-thinking skills for use in the classroom.
“Granite State Challenge” began in 1984 and was patterned after the College Bowl-style programs.
The winner of this season’s competition gets $1,000, a trophy, and a championship banner to hang at school. The second-place finisher gets $55 and a trophy.
The winning team also participates in a Governor’s Cup event, pitted against the winner of the WGBH Boston High School Quiz Show champion.