Trinity High Bests Oyster River High

Granite State Challenge - Round One

(DURHAM, March 1, 2024) -  Trinity High narrowly defeated Oyster River High in the fourth Round One Game of Granite State Challenge in a tight game.

Playing for Oyster River High were team captain and senior, James Li, junior Annika Clemmons, and seniors Aaron Eisenberg and James Oshima. The coach for the team was English teacher John Monahan. Oyster River High enrolls around 843 students from Durham, Lee, Madbury, and Barrington.

Playing for Trinity High were the team captain and senior Hayden Becker, senior Matt Salafia, and juniors Desmond Lee and Tyler Welch. The team alternates were senior Rob Mokua and sophomore Long Nguyen. The coaches were social studies teacher Andrew Lavoie and math teacher Louis Sievers. Trinity High is a parochial school located in Manchester and enrolls around 300 students from Manchester, Bedford, Goffstown, Hooksett, and surrounding towns.


James Li put the first points on the board for Oyster River with a question about the game Twister,  his teammate Aaron Eisenberg added another 10 points on a question about the film The Godfather, and James Li added another 10 points by identifying the two U.S. presidents who were assassinated in the 20th Century bringing Oyster River out to a quick 30-0 lead. Matt Salafia put the first point up for Trinity on a question about Amerigo Vespucci and his teammate Desmond Lee brought the score to 30-20 on a question about Peter Pan. Oyster River's James Li answered the next question about Martin Van Buren correctly. Both teams missed the next question about the gnu, but Oyster River's James Oshima answered the next question about Dartmouth College being the inspiration for Faber College in the movie Animal House, and Oyster River took a 50-20 lead. Trinity's Matt Salafia picked up 10 points on a question about monotremes, but James Oshima added 10 points for Oyster River on a question about T.S. Elliot and the score was 60-30 with Oyster River in the lead. The next question was the Unitil Power Question worth 20 points, but neither team could answer the question about horsepower. 

Matt Salafia of Trinity answered a question about Ronald Reagan correctly, tightening the score to 60-40, but neither team could answer the next question about the Red Sox. Hayden Becker and Matt Salafia of Trinity answered the next two questions correctly and tied the score 60-60 and their teammate Desmond Lee gave Trinity its first lead on a question about Sonny and Cher and then he extended the lead on a question about the novel Crime and Punishment. Oyster River's James Oshima tightened the score to 80-70 on a question about Batman and his sidekick Robin. Desmond Lee picked up the next 10 points for Trinity and with under a minute left in the round, Trinity held the lead by a score of 90-70. Neither team could answer a question about the 20th Amendment, but Hayden Becker extended Trinity's lead to 100-70 on a question about the black-footed ferret as the round ended.

In the Three Strikes and You're Out Round each team picks a 10-question category and each team member, starting with the captain, gets one question. The team continues to answer questions until they miss three questions. Each team also has three passes in each round. If a team answers all 10 questions correctly, they pick up an additional 10 points. Oyster River tore through its round answering all 10 questions correctly and picked up 110 points. Trinity answered six questions correctly and the round ended with Oyster River in the lead by a score of 180-160.


In the 60-Second Round alternates join their teams. Each team picks a ten-question category and has 60 seconds to answer the questions. If they answer all ten correctly, teams get a 10-point bonus. Team members can confer in the round, but the captain answers. Trinity chose the category "Going Green." All of the answers in the category began with the word green. They answered seven questions correctly and picked up 70 points.  Oyster River chose the category "Boo." All of the answers included the letters "b-o-o" in that order. oyster River answered eight questions correctly and the round ended with the team holding on to a lead of 260-230.


In the final round of the game, each correct answer is worth 20 points, but teams lose 20 points with an incorrect answer. Tyler Welch of Trinity picked up the first points of the round on a question about Pablo Picasso, his teammate Desmond Lee added another 20 points to Trinity's score on a question about the origins of the word goodbye, and not to be left out, Matt Salafia added another 20 points to their score and then Tyler Welch correctly spelled "conscience" and Trinity was quickly out to a lead 0f 310-260.  James Oshima put the first pint in the round on the board for Oyster River on a question about Charles Dickens. Both teams lost 20 points on a question about Pretoria and the score was Trinity 290 and Oyster River 260. Matt Salafia of Trinity picked up the next 20 points on a question about ostriches. The next question was a civics question asked by Nick Capodice, co-host of the NH Public Radio podcast Civics 101. Neither team could identify the amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave 18-year-olds the right to vote. The score remained 290-260 with just 18 seconds left in the game. An incorrect answer by Trinity and a correct answer by Oyster River could flip the game, but Matt Salafia answered the next two questions correctly and Trinity won the game by a score of 350-260.

Trinity High now moves on to the quarterfinals where they will meet Souhegan High on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 pm on NHPBS.

Hosted by Bow High School teacher and former Granite State Challenge coach (Bedford High), contestant (Belmont High), and Granite State Challenge crew member, Jon Cannon, Granite State Challenge features some of New Hampshire's brightest high school students as they demonstrate remarkable teamwork, quick thinking, and smarts to beat the clock and buzz in first on this iconic New Hampshire game show. The game emphasizes quick recall of math, science, social studies, language arts, and fine arts facts - along with questions about current events, entertainment, sports, and New Hampshire.

You can follow your favorite team, test your knowledge with GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE online quizzes, and more at the GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE web page, or try your hands at daily brainteasers on the GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE Facebook page.

GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE is funded by lead sponsor Unitil with additional funding from NEA New Hampshire, Safety InsuranceD.F. Richard Energy, and HRCU.

About New Hampshire PBS: New Hampshire PBS inspires one million Granite Staters each month with engaging and trusted local and national programs and services on-air, online, via mobile, in classrooms and in communities. Beyond its award-winning television programs, New Hampshire PBS is a leader in education and community engagement.

Phone (603) 868-1100  •  Fax (603) 868-7552


Station Management

Peter A. Frid
President & CEO

Dawn DeAngelis
Vice President & Chief Content Officer

Pressroom Contact

Carla Gordon Russell
Director of Communications
(603) 868-4339