On the first Saturday of Spring Break, March 14th, the Southeast Junior High Chess Team and coach Ryan Hizey traveled with the Columbus and Neodesha chess teams on a bus provided by the Columbus School District to compete in the Kansas Scholastic State Chess Tournament at Wichita North High School in Wichita, Kansas.
“It was a very early and long day for our chess team – we left around 5 A.M. that morning and did not return back to Southeast until around midnight that night but it was a very exciting day,” Hizey said.
Players from Southeast in attendance were: Dakota Tyree, Hunter Chrysler, Lillian Chrysler, Josh Wyckoff, Kyle Carter, Thomas Letchworth, and Zachary Smith.
There were around 503 players total at the tournament, not counting all of the coaches, parents, staff, and other people in attendance.
“It was a very, very busy place,” said Hizey. “Teams could reserve team rooms to stay in in-between rounds. Neodesha, Columbus, and Southeast had reserved rooms.”
At the tournament Hizey actually had two jobs – in addition to coaching the Southeast Junior High Chess Team, eh was also the head Computer/Section Tournament Director for the K-8 Middle School Section. This was his second year performing this duty at the State Chess Tournament and 3rd year being the Tournament Director for Southeast Kansas.
“Before the tournament, I told our Lancer Team that I was very proud of them and how well they had competed throughout the chess season – I had seen a lot of growth in our players of this season,” Hizey said. “We have had a strong second year with our chess team and program. I told the students that anything that happened that day was icing on top of the cake. I was very proud of them whether they won games or lost. It was awesome to just be at state this year.”
In the K-8 division, there were 166 players and 26 total teams. The tournament was 6 rounds with game 30 time control with a 5 second delay.
“State had a lot of very tough competition,” Hizey said. “There were a lot of teams from parts of the state that we had not seen all year. This meant some strategies and things that our team had possibly not yet seen. However, our team had a blast and enjoyed the tournament.”
Out of 26 teams, SJHS came away with 13 place at 11 points.
“I was thrilled for our team,” Hizey said. “For our first year at State Chess this was very good. Southeast had a wonderful chess season. I could not have been any happier with how well our students did. It will be exciting to see what happens next year with our chess students.”
Hizey said there are serveral 8th graders moving onto high school next school year and he hopes this will spark interest in a high school chess team.
“I greatly look forward to the new chess season in the Fall next year – go Lancers,” said Hizey
Players in K-8 Section: 166 Total
Teams in K-8 Section: 26 Total
Individual Placing for Southeast Junior High Players: 6 Rounds Total
72nd Place: Dakota Tyree – 3 Points
89th Place: Hunter Chrysler – 3 Points
110th Place: Josh Wyckoff – 2.5 Points
114th Place: Lillian Chrysler – 2.5 Points
134th Place: Zachary Smith – 2 Points
138th Place: Thomas Letchworth – 2 Points
160th Place: Kyle Carter – 1 Point