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Chess gallops into state, despite uncertainty

Chess+gallops+into+state%2C+despite+uncertainty

After the conclusion of the final games at the sectional tournament, the chess team waited patiently for the results of whether or not they would make it to state. Early season struggles, highlighted in an earlier story by Justin Peabody, were the reason for the unusually suspenseful state results. Despite the uneasy ending to the season the chess team made it into the state Tournament. 

Sophomore David Popowski could hardly contain his happiness when he heard the results.

“Once I got the news that we were actually going I was jumping for joy, I was really excited,”  Popowski said.

With the shaky start English teacher and chess sponsor of 5 years, Matthew Love, said that making it to state felt like a real accomplishment even if in past years it wasn’t. 

”This year was never guaranteed, therefore it was especially gratifying when they qualified,”  Love said.

The state tournament is taking place Feb. 8 – Feb. 10 in the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL. With a big tournament like this it can be hard for the chess players to continue playing well throughout. This can be around four hours straight of just chess and Senior Daniel Derengowski attributes that to be the hardest part about chess.

“Remaining consistent, practicing consistently, playing consistently, it’s just hard to do it everyday,” Derengowski said.

As one of the only seniors on the team Derengowski is always trying to help the younger players on the team with their game going into state. One way he does this is by helping them learn newer and better openings and techniques for them to use while playing.

“In order to make state, you need everyone on your team to do well, so you’re trying to figure out what the weakest part of someone’s game is and then helping with that,” Derengowski said.

Now that no more worries persist about if chess will make it to state the team can focus on competing in the tournament. Love appreciates the tenacity they showed this year.

“The team this year just never ever gave up, ” Love said. “Nobody got discouraged throughout the season, at the tournaments, at sectionals, even when we didn’t have those wins.”

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About the Contributor
Matthew Pulver
Matthew Pulver, Sports Reporter
Hi, I’m Matthew Pulver. I am a Junior and this is my first year on staff. Other than knight Media I’m not involved in anything at Prospect, but I like to watch sports outside of school. One fun fact about me is that my favorite restaurant is Chipotle.

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