The chess season spans several months, beginning in September and concluding with the state finals in February in Peoria. The 2016-2017 Spartan chess team consisted of 17 dedicated players. The Junior Varsity team finished with a 4-7 record and the varsity team finished 9-3 and placed third in the SSC Red division. The varsity team consists of the “best” eight players on the team ranked from board one to board eight. Almost half the varsity team was comprised of Sophomores.
Board one on the team was senior Elizabeth Gonzalez, who was named to the all-conference team. Board two included senior Zak Mackovitch who finished in the top 20 in conference. Senior Fatima Akili was board 3, junior Anthony Gomez-Ledezma was board 4, and junior Wojciech Zacherek was board 5. Sophomore Brett Baranowski took second place in the conference on board 6, while sophomore Kameron Oesterreich placed second on board seven. Sophomore Ian Palacios finished off the Varsity lineup on board 8, and Ally Templin, Ricardo Cortes, and Emily Stachowichz played occasional roles.
At the state tournament, the team finished with three points overall, yet two players ended with solid individual performances. Brett Baranowski finished in 48/169 on Board 6 with 4 wins, and Ian Palacios finished 43/194 on board 7 with 4 wins and a draw. The young team looks forward to practicing throughout the remainder of the school year and over the summer to compete for the conference championship next season.