Thursday, March 18, 2004

Add a chess title to Elder's long list of triumphs

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

March madness is not all about basketball and its buzzer beaters, pressure free throws or earning a top seed.

Chess can provide its share of drama, too. A quiet game, it often moves at a stately pace but requires maximum amounts of thinking and planning.

The Elder Board Warriors are just as pumped as any basketball champion about their prowess this year when they successfully defended their city crown in the Greater Cincinnati Scholastic Chess League Championships.

Four seniors from Elder High School are champions of the Greater Cincinnati Scholastic Chess League. They are (from left) Ben Bryant, Sean Reder, Josh Nohle and Tyler Jones.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/TONY JONES

Just as they did last year, the chess team held off three other teams to win its division and then won the playoffs.

"This was a great thrill to win back-to-back championships,'' said Sam Witherup, head coach. "The only bad part about this is that they are all seniors, and I will be losing them next year."

The players are Josh Nohle, Tyler Jones, Sean Reder and Ben Bryant.

Witherup said the team went through the division during the regular season tying St. Xavier and beating Roger Bacon and St Henry in Elsmere.

"We had a top seed (for the chess playoffs), tied with St. Xavier," Witherup said. "In the playoffs, we beat Mason 4-0."

But they were not finished yet because one of the their toughest opponents, St. Xavier, had beaten Deer Park.

"This was building up to a good match, because during the regular season, we had played St. Xavier to a tie," Witherup said

In the playoffs, held at Deer Park High School, the Elder Warriors beat St. Xavier 21/2 to 11/2.

"This was something, to take home the regular division trophy and the championship trophy,'' Witherup said.

Honorary citizens

Two volunteers in the Cin-Liu Sister City Committee will receive the Honorary Citizen Award when they visit Liuzhou, China, March 21-26.

They are Charles Weilbaker, Kenwood, and Elizabeth Tu Hoffman, Indian Hill.

"I am delighted to be a part of that kind of award,'' said Weilbaker. "I spent most of my time with that committee and the Sharon Woods Village Museum.''

Weilbaker is a professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati and director of education programming for the committee.

Tu Hoffman is president of E.Tu Associates Inc. in Oakley. She has been the Cin-Liu Committee's chairman since 1989.

"When you get this kind of award in their country, you are respected and regarded as part of their family," Tu Hoffman said. "Over the years we have acquired so many friends in China, it is like going home to our Chinese family."

The award is the most prestigious presented to any citizen or foreign national, and rewards 18 years of voluntary work in the Chinese Sister City exchange between Cincinnati and Liuzhou

The Cin-Liu Committee has won three Sister Cities international awards since 1991.

Neighborhood food drive

Lent for Cassidy Miller and a group of neighborhood kids means spending their free time conducting a food drive.

Cassidy, 10, thought of the idea three years ago. She decided that instead of giving up cookies and soda for Lent, she would use that time to collect food for the needy. She organized a food drive on her street.

She sent her collections of food to the Life Food Pantry in Loveland.

As usual, kindness spreads. The next year, Cassidy contacted her neighborhood friends to help.

This year, Cassidy has a small army of friends helping her in the Millbrook Farms subdivision, canvassing the entire neighborhood.

They are Sarah, Ryan and Rachel Mellett; Allison and Kyle Raftery; Joey and Nicole Walerius; Donny Stock, Chris Haffner, Cassidy's bother, Zachary Miller;Megan and Thomas Downey; Danielle, Eric and Andrew Steine; Nick and Jake Weiss; Ben and Will Gilles, and Stephenie, Jamie and John Hamann.

"She started this on her own," said Mary Beth Miller, her mother. "This year, they did it over two weekends, March 6-13. They collected food from 168 homes in the subdivision."

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