Blue Hill Chess Team Wins Trophy at Nationals
05.04.14 Atlanta, Georgia. Blue Hill Consolidated School's Chess Team came home victorious at the National Junior High Scholastic Chess Championships held on April 25-27 in Atlanta, Georgia. The first year team took home the 18th place trophy, with 56 teams competing from across the country, in the K-8 Under 750 Division. BHCS recently formed the team in November 2013, and on March 8, 2014, the team became the Maine State Scholastic Chess Champions in the K-6 Championship Division.
Thanks to Dawn Stewart for contributing to this report.
The 11-member BHCS team endured 7 rounds at Nationals, each lasting up to 4 hours, over a 3 day tournament that began on Friday and ended Sunday evening. Sixth graders led the way, with Sam Parrott garnering 4.5 points and Parker Allen and Cameron Stewart each with 4 points. Fifth grader Evan Chapman and sixth grader Grayson Eaton each had 3.5 points. Eighth graders Alec Cole and Kara Morrison had 3 points each, as well as sixth grader Aidan Stearns and fifth graders Cole Stewart and Ross Stewart. Fifth grader Kai Diel boosted the team with an additional 2 points. The strong team effort ensured the 18th place award, and the team brought home a wonderful trophy for the school.
Coach Cameron Wendell led the team to victory, with intense preparation before the tournament and diligent review with each player after every round at Nationals. Coach Wendell is a high school student at Blue Hill's Harbor School and former national chess champion. Maryanne Lewandowski ("Mrs. Lew"), faculty advisor and BHCS 6th grade teacher, was instrumental in the team formation and organization and chaperoned the BHCS students traveling to and from Atlanta and while at the tournament. A total group of 19 students and adults traveled to the event from Blue Hill.
Coach Wendell reported, "I am overwhelmingly proud of the team and all of their hard work. Going from barely knowing how to move the pieces to placing at the national championship is unbelievable. I can hardly imagine what such an amazing group of students could accomplish in the upcoming school year."
Mrs. Lew observed, "The students faced the challenges of national-level competition with courage and poise. They each enjoyed success and learned from their mistakes. They also experienced the sights and sounds of Atlanta, including a ride in the SkyView ferris wheel and visits to Coca-Cola World and the Georgia Aquarium."
The BHCS chess team would like to thank everyone in the community who donated money and their time to help get this group of motivated students to Atlanta. In particular the team acknowledges its current sponsors, Tradewinds Marketplace, Lambert Coffin and Stewart Management Company (Entity Managers - Delaware), whose level of contribution enabled the team to realize their national dream on such short notice.
After each game players would take a look at their games with the help of a coach.
The stage is set for the trophy giving!
And the honorees are ready!
Coach Cameron Wendell with two members of the winning team.
Congratulations to the players on their remarkable achievement and thanks to parents, volunteers, coaches and all those who supported the team on this great journey.