While a 13 Year Old Was Shot, We Practiced.
Tonight, the Wingfield Chess Team made its last preparations before leaving for Belzoni, Mississippi Saturday morning to kick off our competition season... down the street, a 16 year old shot a 13 year old.
(Above: Teaching Greg Bughouse. Clockwise From Lower Left: William, Kamarie, Rodney & Greg)
Nights like this send me into a mental struggle between despair and thankfulness. Despair that the job left to be done with the youth of Jackson remains so immense, yet relieved that at least my kids are safe, for now.
As far as the chess is coming, we've got 2 talented Sophomores (Greg & Rodney) constantly challenging our 2 senior veterans (William & Kamarie). They trade victories back and forth, beating up on each other creating a perfect "iron sharpens iron" training environment. And though I was warned against it by serious chess competitors, I allow them to endulge in the coveted SENIOR vs. SOPHOMORE Bughouse Extravaganza at least once to conclude each practice.
(Above: Seniors on the left, Sophomores on the right)
I'd much rather them playfully try to annihilate each other in simulated combat on the board than let idle hands become the devils playground. Each day builds more camaraderie, trust and dependence on one another as a team and this warms my heart.
As for now, its time for me to take a deep breath of relaxation and say prayers for the young man fighting for his life tonight in Jackson, Mississippi.