Central’s most successful group, yet possibly the most overlooked, demands the attention of all with their recent Public League Championship. Although having always been a skilled team for the past 16 years, Central’s chess team has always come up short, finishing second to none-other than Masterman High School. However, this past week, the team finally took home the 1st place victory in the Philadelphia Scholastic Chess League, at last defeating their long-time rival.
“Being the coach for the time that I have has been a wonderful journey, seeing these people progress and the different team’s come and go and the passion they’ve had is incredible and it’s pushed me to improve my own skill. The students here put in so much work and effort, but the best thing is seeing the diversity of the is team, it’s amazing, seeing all the different students coming together,” comments Mr. Copeland, team coach. Mr. Copeland (260) was a member of the chess team during his team at Central, and the win has been equally fulfilling to him as coach and alumnus.
Mr. Copeland is not the only Central alum who has been instrumental in the success of the team. Larry Plotkin (230), who was an active member of both the chess team and Centralizer during his time at Central, became reinvolved in Central’s chess team 2 years ago. In light of the recent win, the chance to attend Nationals, which takes place in Nashville, Tennessee in May, became an instant goal of team; however, the cost of Nationals proved problematic. Therefore, Mr. Plotkin contacted multiple alumni from the chess team, and together, the small group raised the necessary funds for Nationals, proving the continuing support of the alumni of Central.
With the Public League Championship behind them, States this weekend, and Nationals in May, Damian Suarez (276), first board for Central’s team, lives by one motto. “You never win the games you resign,” he tells me. With that inspiration in toe and the threat of the overwhelming intelligence that is the Central chess team, we wish them good luck as they strive for yet another victory this weekend in Lancaster.
Grace Del Vecchio (277)