Signal Mountain Chess Teams Play At State Tournament

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The four Signal Mountain school chess teams may not have brought home trophies from the state Scholastic Chess Team Tournament, but they came home determined to go back and do better next year.

“Going to state is a big honor,” Jacob Gravett said, “but I think we need to practice a little more.”

His teammate, Hannah Massey agreed. “We did not win any trophies, but I will do all my best to prepare for the next tournament,” she said.

Both are sixth graders who were members of the team from Signal Mountain Middle School. The state competition included 16 teams in each division.

Nolan Elementary’s team of second and third graders placed 8th in the Primary division for grades Kindergarten through thirrd grade. Team players were Nicholas Barrett, Oliver Nimon, Hinton Stefaniuk, and Adrian Andreescu.

“I wish we could’ve won just one more game,” Oliver Nimon said.

That probably would have meant a trophy since those were only awarded to the top 6 teams and Nolan was ranked fourth going into the final round against the team that ended up 4th overall. “I really, really want to go back,” Oliver Nimon said.

Also in the Primary division, Thrasher Elementary’s team placed 11th. Team members were Yuji Steele, John “J.J.” Massey, Erol House, Alex Williams and Harry Sedwick.

A team of sixth graders from Signal Mountain Middle School placed 12th in the Elementary Division for fourth through sixth graders. Team members were Jacob Gravett, Ruston Shome, Hannah Massey, and John Wallace.

A team of fourth and fifth graders from Thrasher placed 13th in that same division. Team members were Ian Campbell, Masaki Steele, Will Baker, and Max Sewell.

“Both Mr. Kodsi and I were impressed with the enthusiasm that our students displayed and the way they conducted themselves during the tournament,” said Bill Cheal.

He and Joe Kodsi teach students the game of chess on a volunteer basis after school once a week at each of the three local Signal Mountain schools. Ross Rogers assists at Thrasher.

They gave local students a pep talk during the weekly club meetings immediately following the state competition on Saturday in Cookeville, Tn.

At Nolan Elementary, Mr. Cheal reviewed the team results, where each player won two matches and lost two matches.

“What would have been better," he said, with a smile, “was if you’d won three or four matches.” Mr. Cheal noted that the winning Primary team from the Memphis area has won the state competition in that division eight years in a row now. He also shared that chess is part of the curriculum at the top four winning schools, and chess students from those schools play chess at school five times a week and that many of them play in other tournaments “just for fun” on Saturday.

Mr. Cheal encouraged local chess students to play in more tournaments so they can play different people and gain more experience.

The Steele brothers from Thrasher said playing in the recent state tournaments was “fun because we could play with new players. We learned many skills, " they said. “"We enjoyed the state tournament, 100%!"

Their coaches also encouraged local students to enroll in a Chess Camp that Mr. Cheal and Mr. Kodsi will conduct as part of this summer’s camp schedule offered by the Mountain Education Foundation.



Cleveland State Host 8th Annual Multicultural Fair

Cleveland State Community College hosted its eighth annual Multicultural Fair on Saturday. The fair, designed to celebrate the different cultures, featured a colorful parade of nations, international studies information, booths featuring different nationalities, and culturally based entertainment, including the St. Therese Spanish Youth Dancers, Mawre and Company African Dance ... (click for more)

Baylor Community Service Group Leaves For Jamaica

Ten service-minded Baylor students left this week to travel to Jamaica over spring break, where they will work in the squatter community of Ferry, an orphanage in Kingston, the Home for the Aged, and primary schools in Kingston.  This year’s group includes James Atkins, Natalie Becker, Erin Blalock, Kathryn Cash, Caroline Combs, Natalie Javadi, Ansley McWilliams, Kate Probasco, ... (click for more)

Hard Freeze Predicted In The Area For Saturday Night

Temperatures are expected to drop Saturday night to 28 degrees or less. Here is the latest report from the National Weather Service:  HARD FREEZE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT EDT /11 PM CDT/ TONIGHT TO 11 AM EDT /10 AM CDT/ SUNDAY... * EVENT... A HARD FREEZE EXPECTED WITH LOWS FROM THE TEENS NORTH TO THE UPPER 20S SOUTH LATE TONIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING. ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Shooting On Sixth Avenue Had Been Shot Himself Last Week; Police Say Incident "Part Of Gang War"

A man charged with attempted first-degree murder on Sixth Avenue Court on Thursday afternoon was shot himself earlier this month. O'Shae Kadaris Smith, 20, of 2114 E. 12th St., is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was one of two people shot on Rawlings Street on March 16. Kendre Allen, ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mom’s Parting Instructions

My mother, Helen Exum, went to be with the Lord in late August of last year and, in the way folks do, I was going through some of her files last week when I ran across an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a story and written in her hand were the words, “This is a wonderful story for you to tell!” Not being one to disobey my mother and not about to waylay the wishes of the ... (click for more)