News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

Normal West Chess team places 26th out of 164 teams at IHSA State Tournament

Above, the West Chess team poses after a successful season.

The Normal Community West High School’s chess team competed in IHSA state over the weekend of Feb 9-10.

The team competes in individual matches against players ranked similarly to them on the Elo scale.

Although there were some individual hiccups or mistakes, head coach Ryan Peck believes, “The team jointly performed fantastic, I am proud of each one of the guys.”

This was Peck’s first year coaching, and throughout the season, he has made adjustments and improvements to his coaching style.

While he previously implemented a mainly self-study procedure, he has since moved to a more hands-on approach by guiding students throughout practice and helping more where needed.

“Initially, I thought of my coaching as a more self-study thing, but I realize now that I do have more of a role, especially with being able to assist people more with any guidance they may need,” Peck states.

On the competition days, the team was very focused and determined. They spent time outside of practices watching other matches, studying theory and books, and individual practicing.

Overall at the state tournament, they placed 26th out of 164 teams, coming close to their ranking last year at 17th. Peck is proud of the accomplishment for a first year coach, facing losses on the team ofto previous seniors and the loss of their previous coach, Garrett Scott.

Next year, the team will face three losses from seniors Jack Ewing, Joel George, and Danny Dyrek.

Additionally, the remaining members will begin to practice at Heartland Community College to play against college students or adults on campus.

“Not only can students come from the West to play at the Heartland campus, but we can also invite all types of people that enjoy the game as a hobby or people who are trying to improve,” Peck explains.

By playing against more people, the members of the team can test their own skills and abilities as well as learn from a diverse group of chess players in the area.

After State, practices will slow down. Awards were given out to players who made significant improvement or achievements during the season.

Anyone looking to join the 2024-2025 Chess Team should contact Ryan Peck at the beginning of the 2024 school year, and look for anything in the announcements.

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