Chess team places 36 in state


By Shreya Thakkar, editor-in-chief

Going into the season, the chess team wasn’t confident they would be able to recover the loss of four graduated seniors who played the top three boards last year. However this year’s young team came together and placed third in the MSL and 36th in the state out of 146 teams. 

For senior Billy Doherty, MSL conference second board champion, the state competition this past weekend in Peoria meant even more to him because it was his last. 

“It was bittersweet,” Doherty said. “I didn’t get to go down to state my freshman year, so after that every year was special because I knew what I was missing out on.” 

One highlight of the meet was when the team beat Walter Payton Prep High School, an elite high school in Chicago. However, there were some narrow losses, particularly a nail-biting match that could have put the team state ranking in the 20s. 

Last year’s team placed 30 in state. However since each team cannot play every single team, chess team coach Nicholas Olson believes rankings are not a solid measurement of success, but rather a range. 

Overall, Olson is proud of the team’s entire season. 

“A lot of students and players put a lot of hours in during the summer and during the year and improved a lot,” Olson said. “They came away really proud of themselves this season and did really well.”