A nine-member Homewood-Flossmoor High School chess team had the best Vikings showing in 20 years at the Illinois High School Association’s state championship tournament Feb. 10 and 11 in Peoria.
H-F physics teacher Matthew Bonges, who serves as the team’s coach, said the Viking chessmen finished with five wins and two losses to finish 28th overall from the 149 teams in competition. The team had H-F’s best showing at the IHSA meet since 1997.
Team leader was Perry Hoag, a sophomore, who was considered the most valuable player for the Vikings, Bonges said.
“He played the toughest competition at Board 1, and tallied six wins against only one loss and finished 15th place in state,” he said.
Hoag was the highest individual finisher for all schools in the south and southwest suburbs, including all H-F’s competitor schools in the SWSC conference.
Senior Jacob Rothschild was named the most valuable player on Board 2. He finished with five wins and two losses earning a 29th place state ranking.
On Board 3, senior Matthew Scholefield was named most valuable player for his five wins and 2 losses. He finished with a 24th state ranking.
Rounding out the team were: sophomore Henry Thiros who finished 5-2 on Board 4 for 32nd place; sophomore Julian Garcia was 4-2-1 on Board 5 for 39th place; and freshman Eric Piros was 5-2 on Board 7 for 23rd place.
Spirited play was also provided by sophomores JustinGarcia and Owen Kreis and freshman Xander Branch.
Bonges gave two awards after the tournament. Eric Piros was named the team’s most improved player and Owen Kreis was awarded the sportsmanship trophy.