Originally published in The Weekly Packet, April 30, 2015
Chess team is second in nation
The Blue Hill Consolidated School Chess Team came home victorious from the National K-9 Junior High Scholastic Chess Championships held on April 24-26 in Louisville, Kentucky. The team tied for second place, with 31 teams competing from across the country, in the K-8 Under 750 Division. The BHCS Chess Team is very young, formed in the 2013-2014 academic year, and became the Maine State Scholastic Chess Champions last year in the K-6 Division and this year in the K-8 Division.
The 10-member team endured seven rounds at Nationals, each lasting up to four hours, over a three-day tournament that began on Friday and ended Sunday evening. Leading the way was Ross Stewart with 6 points, Sam Parrott with 5 points, Evan Chapman with 5 points, and Cole Stewart with 4 points. Grayson Eaton and Cameron Stewart each earned 3.5 points. Parker Allen earned 3 points, and Aidan Stearns had 2 points. Boosting the team also with wins were newcomers Quinn Stabler and Liam Webb. The strong team effort ensured the second-place award. The team trophy was too big for the flight home and had to be shipped to the school.
Individual trophies were awarded to players who performed well at the tournament. Ross Stewart tied for second place nationally, and Evan Chapman and Sam Parrott each tied for 20th place nationally, from among 183 competitors in the division.
Coach Cameron Wendell led the team to victory, meeting once a week this winter and spring at chess practice, as well as having intense preparation before the tournament and diligent review with each player at every round at Nationals. Wendell is a high school student at Deer Isle-Stonington High School and former national chess champion. Nell Herrmann, faculty advisor and BHCS science teacher, was instrumental in the team preparation and chaperoned the students traveling to Louisville. A total group of 19 students and adults traveled from Blue Hill to the event, along with two grandparents of one of the players, who traveled 4-1/2 hours from Illinois.
In a news release, the BHCS team thanked everyone in the community for their generous funding contributions and for everyone’s time and dedication to help get this group of students to Louisville.