Nov 022012

This year was supposed to be a building year for the Holbrook High School chess team, but no one told members of the team that. Last year the novice team barely pulled out a draw. They finished last in the region and at times could barely field a team for each tournament. Returning players Ben Williams, Aarick Yazzie, Justin Tapaha, Elinor Henderson and Jacob Garret offered a source of hope for this year’s team. Holbrook also gained senior Rajan Joshi, juniors Tianna Benally and Edmund Jodie, sophomore Joshua Johnson and fresh-man Savannah Fischer.
At the regional team chess tournament on Oct. 19 and 20, that hope turned into a championship for the Roadrunners. Senior Jacob Garret was the first to put Holbrook on the board as he scored a stunning victory. A few minutes later junior Aarick Yazzie defeated the second best player from Alchesay. After the initial victories, Holbrook faced some adversity with hard-fought losses by junior Justin Tapaha and senior Ben Wil-liams. However, when it looked like all hope was lost, Elinor Henderson pulled off an amazing win over her higher-rated opponent, which launched Holbrook into first place.
The Roadrunners also finished third in the region during the regular season and qualified for the state team chess tournament, scheduled today and Saturday (Nov. 2 and 3).

Photo courtesy of Holbrook High School
Returning Holbrook High School chess team members (left to right) Justin Tapaha, Aarick Yazzie, Ben Williams, Jacob Garrett and Elinor Henderson formed the core of the squad that won the regional team tourney held Oct. 19 and 20.