Compiled by Dawn Aerts
Iron County Today
More than 23 students participated in the fierce, but friendly “First Annual Cedar North Elementary School Invitational Chess Tournament” and competition hosted at the school earlier this month.
The tournament, geared toward students, ages 8 to 13 years old, was coordinated by chess coach, Monica Hollinger, as part of a series of after school community education classes offered this winter.
“This being our first year of chess club at North, I was absolutely thrilled to have more than 20 children registered,” said Hollinger.
According to Principal Ray Whitter, there were competing students from most Iron County School District elementary and middle schools to include Cedar Middle, Canyon View Middle, Cedar North Elementary, South Elementary, East Elementary, Iron Springs and from Parowan.
Hollinger, who coached students over a five-week series this year, noted that it was a pilot program.
“The response from students and parents has been terrific,” said Hollinger, “With this amount of positive interest in chess, there are tentative plans to expand the program next year.”
She is also thankful for the additional help received from local chess enthusiast Dave Fischer. “When we had a chess club at Fiddler’s Elementary (a few years ago) we were able to offer this all year long – that way we could fit much more into the curriculum as well has include some fun field days,” added Hollinger, “The kids absolutely loved it and so did I.’
Principal Whittier is hopeful that the Chess Club and an annual tournament will continue to grow in the new school facility. “One of the things we’re trying to do here is to make it a place where community, residents and families can gather for family-friendly events – so the tournament is another step toward that vision.”
Trophy winners were: 1st place, Joseph Karpel; 2nd place Kolby Lyon and 3rd place Mason Ames. ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’, James Rasmussen; and ‘Good Sportsmanship’ trophy went to Tyliee Best. Award for student who ‘Traveled Farthest’ for chess club, Milton Lo. Additional chess competitors were: Braden Ashe, Ryker Beck, Levi Coash, Parker Flowers, Ariana Green, Wes Holmes, Shaylor Judd, Torsten LeFevre, AJ LeFort, Ethan McFate, Francisco Orega, Loralie Pierce, Clark Plumb, Parker Reynolds, Boaz Szczesny, Kelton Twitchell, Dustin Wood. Courtesy Photo (left) chess coaches Dave Fischer and Monica Hollinger; (right) Principal Ray Whittier.