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The Bammel Middle School Chess Club was started in the Fall of 1996 by John Farnocchia. John is a Special Education teacher at Bammel. What started out as a hobby quickly grew into a monster. During the first few weeks, the club was home to fifty middle school students. The club met one day a week for an hour. After about two months, that number ballooned to around 160 members, and the club started to meet two days a week for two hours at a time! At this time another sponsor was needed. Ric Lancaster, a Reading and English teacher in the 7th grade, joined the club. As the club continued to grow we searched for ways to make it more fun for the students. At this point we began to compete in tournaments held by various organizations such as the Houston Chess Association and the Texas Chess Association.
By the end of this first year, Bammel's Chess Team had won quite a few trophies and had made its precense known in the Houston area scholastic chess circle. For the coming 1997-1998 school year we have set even loftier goals. The club has secured the 1998 Texas Chess Association Region V Championships. We are also planning to attend our first-ever Texas State Scholastic Championships in Austin in the Spring.
The club continues to grow. Currently the club meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for an hour at a time. These days are meant to be light and fun. ( We see a lot of speed chess and bughouse here ) The Bammel Chess Team meets on Thursdays for 2-hour sessions to practice various moves and to play challenge matches to shrapen the competitive fire they need. We have also coaxed two more sponsors into the mix. They are Christine Johnson ( Special Ed ) and Tom Lytle ( History ). With their enthusiasm and all of our returning and new players, we are well on our way to a year of fun and possibly pushing Mr. Lancaster to the brink of a stroke during a tournament very soon.
Bammel is one of four middle schools in Spring ISD. It is home to over 1400 students. The school is located at 1500 Southridge Road directly behind Westfield High School. The school has a number of extracurricular clubs such as Reading Club, Language Arts Club, The Yearbook, Math Club, Spanish Club, Science Club,The Finance and Stock Club, National Junior Honor Society, and Chess Club.
The chess club goal is to provide an opportunity for all students to play the game of chess. We pay no heed to gender, ethnicity, age, or so-called "ability". Throughout history great chess players have been "students" of the game. If chess players are students, then our students can be chess players. The chess club is there to provide the means to make that realization come about.
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