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
Tony Jones Jr.
Curtis Kennedy Jr.
Brian Cross II
Coach Kevin Fite
Coach Glenn Smith