The Deer Isle-Stonington Mariners chess team pulled in three first place and two second place trophies at the state matches March 3 in Orono, giving them 31 state division wins in the last 20 years.
The Mariners K-3 division won by a wide margin; the K-6 division won by a 15.5-13.5 margin over the Breakwater School of Portland; and the K-8 division won by a close 14-13 over Cape Elizabeth.
In K-3, top player Rylee Eaton played in the K-6 division but it didn’t matter. DIS ended up with the top six players in the division, led by Ross Stewart with a perfect 4-0 record. Brother Cole Stewart and newcomer Wyatt Eaton were next with scores of 3.5 (three wins and a draw), while Andrew Pappianne, Kaylee Morey and Ariel Larrabee all finished with 3 points out of 4. Henry Penfold had 2.5 points, and Myles Brown rounded out the scoring with 1.5 points.
In the Novice Elementary/Junior High division for players without a rating, DIS also captured a trophy—this time for second place. Top scorers, all with 3 points, were Tommy Hutchinson, Annie Reynolds, Gifford Proper and Skylar Larrabee.
In the K-6 division, DIS’s depth proved too much for the other seven schools in the section, as Brendan Penfold led the way with a perfect 4-0 score, followed by Orly Vaughn, SooZin Cha, and Tyson Rice, all with 3 points. Avery Reynolds completed the team scoring (top five players) with two wins and a draw in four rounds. Backing up the top five were Ennis Marshall, Ben Penfold, Kinsey Bartlett, Rylee Eaton and Cameron Stewart, all with two wins, and Addie McDonald with 1 point for the day.
In the K-8 division, DIS had to contend with Matthew Fishbein and Wesley Parker, the two highest ranked K-8 players in the state. The two Cape Elizabeth stalwarts came through, but DIS bettered the other three players by enough of a margin to eke out a close 1-point win. As in 2011, Alyssa Chesney came out of nowhere to win 3 points out of a possible 4. Other DIS competitors with 3 points were Krisford Melanio, Bethany Humphrey and Cameron Wendell, while Philomena Mattes and Isaac Vaughn closed out the scoring with 2 points each, and newcomer Alison Eaton got her first tournament win.
In the High School Division, the most exciting match of the day finished with a win by Cape Elizabeth over Bangor with 17 seconds remaining to give the Capers first place over Deer Isle-Stonington.
Juniors Sam Grindal and Hayden Ciomei led the Mariners with undefeated marks, 3-0-1 and 2-0-2 respectively. DIS started slowly, tying George Stevens Academy and John Bapst, but coming on strong to best Westbrook and Orono, taking second place all alone. Bangor, John Bapst and GSA all tied for third with 2.5 points, while Orono and Erskine had 2 each, and Westbrook and Caribou had 1 point each.
In the High School Reserve Division (players not in the team’s top five), DIS was led by undefeated Chelsea Brown (3-0-1) and once-beaten David McManus (3-1) to take the second place trophy. Van Buren took number one, only 1 point ahead of DIS.
The three wins in the K-3, K-6, and K-8 divisions gives the Mariners the sweep of the K-8 sections for the second year in a row, and brings the team’s total to 31 wins in the last 20 years. John Bapst ranks second with eight wins.
As of this writing there are no plans for the Nationals yet, but Deer Isle-Stonington has only missed one Nationals competition in 20 years.