By Todd Martin
Special to the Daily Herald
The Rancier Middle School chess team continued its winning tradition with its second-straight state title.
Rancier's Chess Kangs dominated the 2012 Texas Scholastic Chess Championships Feb. 17-19 in Dallas, accumulating 21 of 28 possible points in its middle school novice division.
The school's longtime chess coach, Darieck Foster II, was humble in the aftermath of the victory, claiming he didn't expect his young team to come away with much hardware and was prepared to consider the tournament a learning experience.
Instead, he was overwhelmed by his team's perseverance and a second state championship.
An eight-member Rancier team joined more than 1,100 players from kindergarten through college, competing in numerous sections based on age and ability level.
The Rancier team competed through seven rounds of play over two days.
Co-captains Jeremiah Sullivan, an eighth-grader, and Ravion Glee, a seventh-grader, commended their coach. They also said their teammates stayed cool under pressure to take the title.
"It can be very competitive," said Glee. "It takes a lot of skill and patience."
"We do well under pressure," Sullivan said. "Chess requires a lot of mental capacity," he said. "It's chaotic and it gets stressful if your opponent gets the upper hand."
Foster said some of his players fell behind in their matches, but were able to think ahead and play to the end, scoring wins or draws when they could have easily lost a match.
The Rancier Chess Kangs are Devon Foster, Mark Styles, Raul Chambers, Ravion Glee, Evan Bell, Jesus Perez, Michael McEvoy and Jeremiah Sullivan.