INGALLS ST MAM AD 728x90px 03 30 21
2-9-2017-2-46-13-PM-1959131

UPDATE: Argo chess team is heading to nationals after all

It turns out the Argo Community High School chess team will compete at the national championships in Nashville after all.

Last month, at a meeting of the school board, members of the team and its spokesman, Jair Herrera, a 2014 Argo graduate and former team member, made impassioned pleas to trustees that the team – in the midst of its finest season – should be allowed to compete at nationals.

At the time, there was some concern among school officials that if they did go, chess players would miss a day of school and time preparing for finals.

And there was concern that their coach, math teacher Lucian Bogdan would miss a day in the classroom.

The board heard from Activities Director Jim Rodriguez, who said there was a timing problem.

ÒThe hardest part is saying ‘no’ to the kids who are outstanding kids. The dates are one week prior to senior final exams. The instructor would miss class time. There are four seniors on the team. It’s not that they should not go. It’s the timing of it,” Rodriguez said at the Jan. 9 meeting. ÒIf it was a different time, there would not be a problem.”

On Jan. 9, Supt. Kevin O’Mara said, Ò(Bogdan) does a great job with them and they are undeniably successful. The problem is the timing.”

The timing issue has apparently been worked out and the team is now planning to attend nationals in early May.{{more}}

ÒA lot of things were expressed at the meeting, but from a factual standpoint no decision was made at the meeting. The board didn’t have it on their agenda. It was public comments that were raised. The board never took a vote, the board never issued any decision,” O’Mara said.

ÒWhat I said to Jair in the hallway (during a break in the meeting) was ‘give me a call tomorrow. I’m sure we can work something out’,” O’Mara said Monday. ÒHe called me. We worked something out. The kids are going. That’s the bottom line.”

Team members will still miss a day of school, traveling to Nashville. But that shouldn’t be a problem.

ÒStudents of good standing, and these kids typically are with one or two exceptions, who work it out with their teachers ahead of time, will make up the work (they miss in class),” O’Mara said. ÒAnd if they don’t, that will impact our decision making moving forward. But when you have a group of kids on a chess team, that’s typically not an issue.”

This year’s chess team, by all accounts, may be the finest every assembled at the Summit high school. The team won its conference, and has several players considered top-notch.

The board has to balance academic achievements with Ògiving kids like the chess team the best possible opportunity to experience the world and the competition they certainly earned. Sometimes we do have to say ‘no,’ but, honestly, this time we didn’t say ‘no’,” O’Mara said.

According to the U.S. Chess Federation website, Super Nationals VI will be held May 11-14. The event includes the elementary, junior high and high school national competitions and is held every four years. The previous event, held in 2013, had 5,335 participants from around the nation.

Bogdan on Jan. 19 said the team would not attend, but he hoped it could take part in nationals next year.

ÒThe students are doing a nice job, but the academic concerns are the main reason. There’s a lot of pros and cons to going,” Bogdan said Jan. 19.

On Tuesday, in an email reply to a reporter seeking comment, Bogdan declined comment.

ÒI am very sorry, but I was told to redirect any reporters to Dr. O’Mara. You will have to contact him with any questions,” Bogdan wrote in an e-mail.

The school hopes to save money by sharing a bus with the chess team from Richards High School in Oak Lawn.

Local News

Kendall Coyne, shown at a past celebration at Sandburg High School, is the 2021 IBAM Person of the Year. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Coyne Schofield to be honored as IBAM’s Person of the Year

By Jeff Vorva Palos Heights hockey legend Kendall Coyne Schofield is picking up a huge award Friday night and it doesn’t have much to do with hockey. Schofield was named the Irish Books, Art and Music Person of the Year and will be honored at the group’s 13th Awards Gala Oct. 22 at the American…

Jim Sexton, the former Evergreen Park mayor, shows his sign for the drive given in honor at the grand opening of the new baseball and softball fields. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Evergreen Park welcomes own fields of dreams and honors Sexton

By Jeff Vorva Brand new fields and a retired mayor were the stars of the show on Oct. 14. Evergreen Park High School had a grand opening of its new turfed baseball and softball fields. The fields were used in late spring, but this event was to celebrate the fields and show them off to…

Chicago 3-year-old Tyler Myslinski, (left) and his 5-year-old brother Jason fight for the ball during an open house at the Wintrust Sports Complex Saturday in Bedford Park. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Bedford Park’s Wintrust Sports Complex is a ‘one-stop’ monster

By Jeff Vorva The Wintrust Sports Complex has not even held its grand opening yet in Bedford Park, but it’s already bringing ESPN to town in July. The facility’s general manager, Wade Walsh, said the American Cornhole League will host its Final Chase at the new site and ESPN will be broadcasting the finals on…

Rev. Edward Stockus

Rev. Edward Stockus dies, pastor emeritus at St. Hugh Parish, served Oak Lawn parishes

Rev. Edward S. Stockus, pastor emeritus of St. Hugh Parish in Lyons, passed away Saturday, Oct. 9. He was 90 years old. Fr. Stockus was born on Jan. 21, 1931, in Chicago. He attended St. Rita High School, the University of Illinois, University of Dayton, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Loyola University and pursued…

Funeral-Flowers.4 logo

Obituaries for Oct. 21

PATRICIA JAMIE “PJ” COTTER Patricia Jamie “PJ” Cotter, 73, of Willow Springs, passed away September 29. Beloved daughter of the late Robert and Georgia (née Svarkonis) Cotter; loving sister of Michael (Karen) and the late James. Fond cousin to many and loving, caring and generous friend to many more. Visitation was held October 8 at…

Mr. Vondrak

A ‘businessman with a heart’

Colleagues pay tribute to Jim Vondrak By Joan Hadac In a business world frequently competitive to the point of being harsh and even cruel, James C. “Jim” Vondrak stood out as a businessman with a heart. The scion of a Southwest Side newspaper family, Mr. Vondrak owned and operated a chain of community newspapers led…

Officer Maureen O’Neill in her final days on the job at the Chicago Lawn (8th) District Police Station. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Lorena Paredes

She bleeds blue

Officer Maureen O’Neill retires after 38 years By Tim Hadac If things appear a little unglued in the commander’s office at the Chicago Lawn (8th) District Police Station, it’s because Officer Maureen O’Neill recently retired after serving in the district for 38 years, 7 months and 1 day. “It’s fair to say that in some…

GSWNH_PurpleForAPuurpose_102221

Purple for a purpose

Taking a momentary break from tying purple ribbons around trees and fenceposts at West Lawn Park last Saturday are CPD Officers Sarai Trevino, Maria DeLaTorre, Raymond Tracy and Jose Supulveda, and Shari Grassmuck and Nancy Arroyo. The group made the park go purple in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. DVAM has been a national…

GSWNH_HoubyParade_102221

Scouts march in Houby Parade

  Members of Boy Scout Troop 1441, sponsored by St. Mary Star of the Sea Holy Name Society, participated in the annual Houby (Czech word for mushroom) Parade, held in suburban Cicero earlier this month. Scouts enjoyed food vendors, live music, games and a carnival. Any boys ages 11 to 17 from any school interested…

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st)

Rush wants lower phone rates for inmates

From staff reports U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-1st) this month continued his push for his Martha Wright Prison Phone Justice Act (H.R. 2489) in the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. The bill would ban the commissions that prisons and other confinement facilities receive from communications providers, which are the primary cause…

Neighbors

Northwestern Home Team 250x250 1
House Ad Subscription3
Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Cook County tax on guns

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Cook County tax on guns

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Cook County tax on gun purchases is unconstitutional, but it left the door open for a more tailored tax that specifically goes toward mitigating gun violence and its effects. The Cook County gun tax, which took effect in…

Public speaks out on proposed congressional maps

Public speaks out on proposed congressional maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Members of the public got their first chance to speak directly to state lawmakers Wednesday about a proposed set of new congressional district maps, and most of those who did were critical of the plan. Democrats in the General Assembly released a proposed new map Friday…

Heavy workload expected next week as lawmakers cancel Thursday session

Heavy workload expected next week as lawmakers cancel Thursday session

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The legislative action was light during the General Assembly’s first week of fall session, and lawmakers in both chambers left town a day early after leadership canceled the Thursday session. That means bigger items, such as a vote on congressional maps and potential changes to the…

Federal court throws out June legislative maps, declines to send issue to bipartisan commission

Federal court throws out June legislative maps, declines to send issue to bipartisan commission

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A three-judge federal court panel in Chicago ruled Tuesday that the legislative redistricting plan that Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law in June – before official 2020 U.S. Census numbers were available – was unconstitutional because the population variances among districts violated the “one-person, one-vote” doctrine.…

State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday urged eligible Illinoisans to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and called on skilled nursing facilities to make booster shots available to patients and staff by Thanksgiving. Currently anyone who received the Pfizer vaccine and is over 65 years of age…

State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that his administration has reached agreement with multiple trade unions requiring certain state workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but it is extending the deadline for workers to get their first shot to Oct. 26 while negotiations continue with the state’s…

Lawmakers returning to Springfield to consider congressional remap, more

Lawmakers returning to Springfield to consider congressional remap, more

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ first congressional remap draft is out but changes could be in store as lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday for the first of their final two weeks of scheduled session in 2022. It’s customary for lawmakers to meet each fall to consider overriding or accepting any…

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of veto session

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of veto session

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released a proposed set of new congressional district maps Friday, just days before lawmakers return to the Statehouse for the start of their fall veto session, which begins Oct. 19. All states redraw their congressional districts following each decennial census. The proposed new…

UPDATED: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of fall veto session

UPDATED: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of fall veto session

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released a proposed set of new congressional district maps Friday, just days before lawmakers return to the Statehouse for the start of their fall veto session, which begins Oct. 19. All states redraw their congressional districts following each decennial census.…

Tax summaries show Pritzkers made $5 million last year – not including family trusts

Tax summaries show Pritzkers made $5 million last year – not including family trusts

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s campaign released summary documents of his 2020 tax returns Friday, which showed the first family reporting $5.14 million in adjusted gross income, all from taxable interest and dividends. The campaign released seven pages summarizing the governor’s and first lady MK Pritzker’s returns, which…

Subscribe Today
CRR NH Evergreen Window Door House Ad