Two Sophomores Turn Their Quarantine Hobby into the All-New BHS Chess Club


Photo: Owen Jolly

Owen Jolly

On a cold winter evening, sophomores Arianna Lyons and Colton Devenow were bored and wondering how to spend their free time. The pair was relaxing in Devenow’s basement, when suddenly, they discovered an old chess board. A few months later, the BHS Chess Club was born. 

Devenow and Lyons both became enthusiastic about the game over quarantine, playing it daily after online classes ended. 

“What inspired me is [we] were playing chess almost every day at home, and I thought, ‘Why not bring it into the school, allow more kids to [try it]?’” Lyons said.

BHS Chess Coach Vincent Mitchell engages in a game at a lunch table. Photo: Owen Jolly/Register

With the school year coming to an end, and teachers piling up the assignments, the chess club provides an outlet for students to calm down after school. Vincent Mitchell, the chess coach, can see the impact the club has on his students. 

“After a long day, chess kind of grounds them,” Mitchell said. 

Unlike many sports and clubs at BHS, students do not need any previous experience to join. 

“Even if you do not know how to play, you can learn,” Lyons said.  

Mitchell’s favorite part about running the chess club is watching his students learn, and progress over time as he coaches the team.  

When Mitchell heard about students interested in the chess club, he was happy to help create it.  Mitchell has been a chess enthusiast since childhood.  

“As a youngster, I always loved the game of chess. I always loved to see how the pieces move. I never really learned how to play,” Mitchell said. 

With the club continuing to grow in popularity, Mitchell has announced his plans to take the team to the next level.  

“I think the goal for us next year is to play other schools. I am excited to see the chess club grow,”  Mitchell said. 

While the club is still in its infancy, it is growing quickly in popularity. It’s eager members offer to play a game with anyone interested. Looking ahead to next year, Mitchell is still looking for new players to join, and compete against other schools. 

While I was asking Mitchell about the chess club, he said, “Why don’t you stick around, and see if you like it? Give it a shot.” 

The BHS Chess Club meets every Tuesday right afterschool in the lobby. The plan is for this schedule to continue next year.  All are welcome. To learn more, contact Vincent Mitchell at [email protected].