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H-F chess team gearing up for state championship

The Homewood-Flossmoor High School chess team will be competing in the IHSA State Championship Chess Tournament Feb. 8 and 9 in Peoria after moving up through two major competitions.

The team won the SWSC Conference Tournament Jan. 19 by defeating Andrew High School in the finals “redeeming our only loss to them earlier in the season,” said coach  Matt Bonges, an H-F physics teacher.

The team advanced to the IHSA Sectional Tournament and placed third out of 22 teams. 

During the meet, H-F had an impressive 3-1 score, losing only to perennial powerhouse Nequa Valley of Naperville. 

The team defeated Bradley-Bourbonnais and Bloom in early matches. H-F concluded the tournament with perhaps their most impressive performance of the year, routing Plainfield South, the Southwest Prairie Conference champion.  

“This is a strong team consisting of five seniors, Perry Hoag (1st board), Julian Garcia (3rd board), Henry Thiros (5th board), Xavier Branch (6th board), and Owen Kreis (7th board). Rounding out the team are sophomore Malcolm Smith (2nd board), junior Eric Piros (4th board) and sophomore Marquel Flanagan (8th board). As a team, we are really showing our depth and improving over the year,” Bonges said.

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