BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
“When we go into a tournament, we’re always the underdog, and we’re never the highest ranking team,” Warren Woodberry, Chess Director at Jones’ Leadership Academy, told The Toledo Journal after their dominating performance at the 14th Annual Toledo Public School, TPS, Chess Tournament, in which they won First Place Team Trophy. The event was held at The University of Toledo’s Scott Park Campus, on Saturday, April 15.
The long, and wide hallways of Scott Park, were filled with tables, chess boards, and competitors looking to hoist winning trophies high into the air.
Schools representing TPS, as well as the Toledo Greater Metropolitan Area, such as Perrysburg, and Ottawa Hills, had players ranging from elementary to high school playing from 9 a.m. until 3p.m.
Mr. Woodberry said, “Most of these schools have had chess teams for 10, 15, and 20 years, and players with 10 plus years of experience;” while the players of Jones have a maximum of a mere four or five years, compared to 10 years’ experience.
Besides being the Chess Director at Jones’ Leadership Academy, he was instrumental in adding the high school component to the annual chess tournament. And when he helped hand out the trophies, at the end, to all competitors, he extended a thank you to George Kral, Chief of Toledo Police Department, for providing the trophies for the elementary schools, while TPS provided trophies for the high school students.
“Kids, I encourage you to tell your parents to pay for their traffic tickets, if they have any,” Mr. Woodberry said jokingly, “Because Chief Kral and The Toledo Police provided us with these beautiful trophies,” he said.
“I’m so proud, that we as a team, won first place,” Ylisia Crawford said. The four year veteran also won First Place for Grades 9-10. “It felt good winning, although I didn’t expect it.”
Other winners from the Mustangs of Jones Leadership Academy were, Alveon Gould, Second Place Individual Winner, Eighth Grade, Anthony King Stewart, Second Place Individual Winner, Ninth Grade, and Russell Chapman, Third Place Individual Winner, Ninth Grade. The Mustangs also won First Place Team Trophy for Grades 9-10. In 2016, and 2017, the girls won The Ohio State All girls Team Trophy.
Mr. Woodberry encourages more schools start chess teams, and more parents to get involved. “Chess is good for academics, and there are scholarships available,” he said.