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Proving that all the news coming out of metro Detroit isn’t bad, the Cornerstone Charter School-Washington Parks chess team won the 2010 Jr. High Chess Nationals in Minneapolis, Minn., which was held April 9-11. A week later, the team’s girls competed in the 2010 All-Girls Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, and took second place. It was the first time they competed in the event.

Chess coach Kevin Fite is thankful for the community’s support.

“We couldn’t make it to any of the Nationals if it weren’t for dedicated parents and business sponsors like the Rory Gamble and Jimmy Settles of the UAW, McDonalds, Del Taco, Grand Valley State University and the Boyce Foundation,” said Fite.

On Wednesday, May 5, the group will head to Atlanta, Ga. for the Elementary Chess Nationals, along with assistant coach, Glenn Smith.

“Before chess, I wasn’t exposed to traveling to other states,” said Curtis Kennedy Jr., 14. “I was only used to traveling around the city. There’s no better feeling than being on a bus filled with trophies coming back from a national chess tournament.”

“The nationals was a new experience for me, being around individuals and teammates who share the same passion and desires for chess as I do,” said Marc Clayton, 13. “I never knew chess was this big.”

“It was harder than I thought it was going to be,” said eighth-grader Miesha Wilson of the All-Girls Nationals. “A lot of the girls were very tough at Nationals. I played girls from New York, Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania.”
Fite is proud of his team and their accomplishments.

“Our kids worked very hard all year long,” Fite said. “They were very focused and determined this season. They were very upset last season when they came in third place at the Nationals in Nashville. They knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get to number one. I’m very proud of all our kids.”

Cornerstone Charter School-Washington Parks chess team roster

Christian Yanish
Xabria Nelson
Ashley Mitchell
Bria Cross
Elayja Mack
Fredcina Kitchen
Hallie Webster
Jaylen Peoples
Donald Dameron
Brenae Smith
Jovaun Rogers
Tredal Latham
Tony Jones Jr.
Serenity Harper
Deja Kennedy
Dywon Lever
Dekia Thompson
Bria Herrick
Randal Bevelle
Ravyn Gardner
Kiera Nettles
Jordan Sweet
Michael Brown
Kyle Pierce
Sidnei Austin
Taylor Cogshell
Jordan Reeves
Micah Gooden
Alexis Clements
Kenice Freeman
Joshua Matthews
Brittany Herrick
Nicole Sutton
Gu-woin Ingram
Marc Clayton
Miesha Wilson
Etana Wilson
Niani Johnson
Curtis Kennedy Jr.
Courey Anderson
James Davenport
Elijah Martinez
Gabriel Colston
Carla Gibson
Jalen Jackson
Brandy Copeland
Darian Williams
Joshua Harper
Charles Boyce
Ahlon Mitchell
Ahvon Mitchell
Megan Anthony
Heaven Anthony
Ricardo Chokengboan
Bryce Smith
Niyah Stinson
Gabriel Sturdivant
Anthony Castone
John Webster
Shyra Northington
Zaria Nelson
Brandon Blevins
Brian Cross II
Nolun Epps
Coach Kevin Fite
Coach Glenn Smith

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