On Saturday, March 23, several Beaufort students competed in the South Carolina State Champion Chess Tournament in Columbia. Fourth grader Kevin Rogers, of Beaufort Academy, was undefeated and came in first place in the fourth and fifth grade section, while second grader Casey Hoogenboom, of Riverview Charter School, was undefeated in the Kindergarten through third grade section.
Casey played against a strong group of the state’s top chess players. The section is said to have some of the most talented and successful players in the Southeastern region. Casey has been playing chess in the Lowcountry for the last four years. This is his first time winning state, but probably not his last. Casey defeated Beaufort Academy first grader Whit Suber to win the title. This is Whit’s first full year of playing chess and he finished second in the state.
The Beaufort Academy chess team won the K-3 grade championship. The team incudes Sophia Martin; G Simmons; Jack McDougall; Kendra Rogers, who won top female player; Thomas Mazzeo, who won third grade state champion; and Whit Suber. The team has participated in a total of 11 tournaments this school year and has placed first in all tournaments played.
Beaufort Academy fourth grader Kevin Rogers went undefeated in the elementary section. This is Kevin’s second consecutive state title. He won the K-3 grade section last year. Kevin defeated the upper state champion to win his section.
Also, Riverview seventh grader Chris Hoooganboom tied for first place in the middle school section.
Coach Darrin Rogers said, “This the best group of chess players I have ever coached.”