Athletic director Evan LeJohn ’93 has decided to start a JV2 level chess team, as the JV team is currently overenrolled due to popular demand. JV Captain Jimmy Lentini ’18 took a short break to chat with us while reprogramming his calculator.
Lentini said, “Some people are just not up to the rigorous sport of JV chess. Not everyone does their weekly finger stretches. Not everyone has what it takes, but they should still have a chance to learn and grow.”
Lentini hopes to make Varsity before the end of his Senior year.
“It’ll be my first varsity letter,” said Lentini. “That jacket is going to look great with my salmon shorts and button down.”
He has been doing daily finger stretches since he was a freshman, physically pushing himself harder than anyone else on the team, or possibly the whole school.
Exeter reveres its chess team in the same way most high schools respect their football team. Pictures hang of “the greats” throughout the athletic building, encouraging the young athletes to achieve their goals. Chess, as a sport, builds hand muscles, tests agility, exercises your brain, and is a great way to build friendships. No football player will ever understand the sweet feeling of whispering “checkmate” after a long and tiring game.
Bartholomew Dupont ’20 expressed his excitement for the new team.
“The JV team was just a little too intense for me,” said Dupont. “So I switched to scrabble, which I don’t enjoy as much. With the new JV2 team, however, I think I’ll go back to chess. It really pushes me out of my comfort zone — being forced to interact one on one with my competitors.”
hopes the JV2 team will be up and running in time for the chess world championships in January, as he hopes to bring more students out of the bubble that is Exeter and expose them to the outside world through an activity they feel comfortable doing.