Chess room wall photos (copy)

The Metcalf Middle School's famed chess team took home a dozen trophies at this year's Minnesota State Scholastic Chess Championship last month. 

The Metcalf Middle School's famed chess team took home a dozen trophies at this year's Minnesota State Scholastic Chess Championship last month. 

Team members Harrison Stage, Joseph Santos, Soren Leafblad and Mitchell Kellen got first place awards. Individual tournament placement trophies went to Harrison Stage (sixth), Mitchell Kellen (seventh), Soren Leafblad, Jake Schoenbauer, Joseph Santos, Cash Primus and David Santos (20th).

Nearly 250 players participated in the event, according to the district. 

The Metcalf A team was also named traveling league champions, with outstanding league performances by Mitchell Kellen, Owen Krick, Jake Schoenbauer, J.J. Johnson and Harrison Stage.

Brian Ribnick, the team's longtime coach and retired district math teacher, was inducted in the Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame in 2019.

“Our chess team set a goal of winning the state middle school chess title in our final season,” Ribnick said in a statement. “The team was committed from day one of practice in October to achieving that goal and have trained especially hard all year."

The 20 players that competed clinched the title before the last round, he added, calling it a very unusual accomplishment.

"I am very proud of these motivated and talented young people.” 

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