Last week, the North Shore Interscholastic Chess League held its annual Blitz Championship Tournament. Top seeded Arlington Catholic returned with a host of seniors who won last year’s Blitz Championship, hoping for a repeat... but Malden Catholic’s Varsity Lancer squad won this year’s championship, unscathed (4-0)!
The team was led by Senior Captain, Zhipeng (Bill) Chen on board 1, Thomas Veeramani (Jr., brd. 2), Santiago Marmolejo (Jr. brd. 3), Harrison Jumper (Sr., brd. 4), and Jay Donahue (Jr., brd. 5). Santiago and Jay went undefeated (8-0, each) in the event.
For the first time in League history, a Junior Varsity team finished in 2nd, behind their Varsity team. The JV Lancers went 3-1, and were led by Junior Captain Michael Bartolotta on board 1, Luke Silvestri (Jr., brd. 2), Sam Hanna (So., brd. 3), Anthony Zannella (Jr., brd 4), and Evan Keleti (Fr., brd 5). Evan Keleti went undefeated (8-0) in the event.
Malden Catholic was not done with setting precedents at the event. Few high schools ever field a team of underclass players, but MC did this year. The Sophomore-Freshman squad consisted of Freshman Captain Nick Campagna (brd. 1), Brandon Wan (Fr. brd. 2), Brian Merdani (So., brd. 3), Sarah Cirame (Fr., brd. 4), and alternating on board 5 were Gia DeFrancesca (Fr.) and Cesare Paglia (Fr.). The team, officially labelled “MC C” at the event, upset the Rockport Varsity team (6 games to 4) in the very first round, becoming the highest finishing underclassman team ever with their 5th-place finish in the field of 12. Another piece of history: Sarah Cirame became the first young lady at MC to ever win a game as a Lancer, as the new talent scored two victories in the event.
Congratulations to all of our chess players and coaches Mr. Murray and Mr. Milliern!
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