Siblings lead TMP chess team in early season
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
The season opener was a successful day at the chess board for siblings Patrick and Jason Kepka, students at Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School in Hays.
Patrick Kepka, a sophomore, recorded a perfect score of six (six wins, no losses, no draws) to lead the Monarch high school team to a first-place finish in their season opener at Canton-Galva High School on Nov. 2.
Jason Kepka, an eighth-grader, went 4-2 and was the top finisher (sixth overall) for the TMP junior high team, which placed fourth with 11 points in its division.
Led by the older Kepka, the leading scorer from last season who placed 26th at state in helping the Monarchs place second in Class 3A at the season finale, TMP scored 16 points at Canton to outdistance McFarland Homeschool of Wichita by two points at the six-team meet.
Senior Jacob Brull, who placed sixth at state a year ago, missed this year's season opener, as did some other team members because of being involved in the school musical.
But the Monarchs still got help from a trio of juniors who all placed in the top 10 -- Jacob Werth, who placed fifth with a mark of 4-2; and Russell Krug and Andrew Yueh, who placed ninth and 10th, both with 3-3 records.
Also finishing in the top 10 for TMP's junior high squad was seventh-grader Nicholas Zimmerman, who placed eighth with a 4-2 mark. Classmate Dylan Tabor finished 3-3 to finish in 20th place.
Next action for the Monarch chess teams will be Saturday at Concordia, where they will be back to a full complement of team members at both the junior high and high school levels.