The Summit Hill Junior High Chess Team made a strong showing at the 2014 IESA State Chess Competition on Pulaski Day weekend. The annual IESA State Tournament took place Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1 at the Bone Student Center in Normal on the Campus of Illinois State University.
Of the 36 schools competing, the Summit Hill Spartan 8th Grade team took 8th place while the 7th grade team took 13th. Of the 4 years at the state competition, a 7th or 8th grade Spartan Chess Team has finished in the top 10! Even more impressive this year was that the Summit Hill 8th Grade team was able to finish 8th without some of their top players, who attended the annual 8th Grade field trip to Washington D.C. during the same weekend.
“I’m very happy and proud of both our teams this year. The 8th grade especially stepped it up this year. We had a few kids out because of the school trip to Washington D.C., but this gave other kids a chance to really shine and they did! They really proved just how deep and talented our team is. The 7th grade had a great weekend too, and I think we are in great shape for next year,” said Coach Ryan Hagen.
The team really is deep, as there are 46 members of the junior high Chess Club at Summit Hill, which makes it the third largest program next to the school band and the track team. And it is paying off at the high school level, too. This year the Lincoln-Way North Phoenix Chess Team, coached by Tim Harrison, won their conference for the first time and had a winning record at their state competition in February.
As for the Summit Hill Spartans, the 8th grade team was led by Jackson Zofkie, who won 5 games and took home an individual third place Bronze Medal. Anthony Eatinger won 4 games and took one draw, Hunter Lang won 4 games of his own, while Reyal Jardine, John Dillon, Justin Bierdz, and Troy White all won 3 games each.
The 7th Grade team was led by Dylan Sheehan, who also won 5 games and also earned a Bronze Medal too at the 7th Grade level. Brennan Browning and Dominic Vilatte each won 4 games, while Patrick Zofkie and Dillan Lang won three games and drew 1 each. Noah Antoniazzi added 3 wins and Adrian Gutierrez added 2 wins and a draw to help round out the competition.
Summit Hill Junior High School serves the communities of Frankfort, Tinley Park, and Mokena.