Young athletes participate weekly in competitive games of chess


Members of the chess club compete in order to gain a better understanding of the game and perfect their skills.

Morgan Matson, Staff Writer

Every Monday and Wednesday after school, a group of about fifteen focused students participate in the challenging, yet rewarding game of chess. The team’s goal is to learn about the game of chess, and have fun doing it.

When long-time advisor, Mr. Jim Picard, left BSM there was a need for a new coach, so Mr. Mike Hickey and Mr. Joe Sbertoli stepped up to the challenge. “When I was given the opportunity to co-lead a group of distinguished athletes, there was no way I could turn down such a great opportunity. My basic rule of thumb is, whenever an incredible opportunity knocks on the door, I have got to do it,” Sbertoli said.

The club does not have official captains, but week to week captains are named. “We play games for captain and whoever wins becomes captain of the week,” Junior Macartan Commers said.

Most of the students have played chess before, but some are new to both chess and the club altogether. Sophomore Andrew Torrance has many friends in chess club, so he joined because of all the great things he heard about it. “I joined chess club because it involved chess, cookies, coke, competitiveness and comradery. It is a great time,” Torrance said.

Players have both individual and team goals they intend to meet by the end of the season. Individual goals amongst the players are instilled to gain a better understanding of the game, and become a generally better chess player. “I want to go from being good to excellent, because I am already good,” Commers said.

The team has yet to compete against other schools, but a match against Holy Angels is in the works. So, they all want to beat the one team they compete against. “We are going to have one match against Holy Angels this year, so it’s our goal to beat them,” Commers said.

Junior Macartan Commers increases his skill through experience playing the game. “My dad and I play a lot, and last year my brother, [Callahan Commers], and I joined chess club together,” Commers said.

Strategic practice and understanding of the game have been fundamental in the club’s existence. “A lot of the kids know quite a bit about chess. So, my philosophy is that we all help each other. After they are done with their match they give each other feedback, so that helps us all get better,” Hickey said.

One of the club’s top players, Sophomore Zane Winston, traveled to national chess tournaments. “I play national tournaments sometimes, so the higher I’m ranked, the better the tournaments I can play in. In one national tournament, I got second in my section,” Winston said.

Other players also competed in chess tournaments as children. “I actually have some chess trophies from back in the day. It was the preschool, kindergarten, first grade era, and I was registered and went to all of the little tournaments and everything,” Commers said.

With the season coming to a close within the next two weeks, the team is going to finish strong, and hopefully reach their goal in beating Holy Angels. It may be too late to join now, but if any BSM students are interested in increasing their knowledge in the game of chess, our very own team is a great, fun way to do it.