Originally published Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 03:55p.m.

KINGMAN – Talent is good, but sometimes it takes more than that to excel in life.

The Lee Williams High School chess team proved that as it tied for fourth at the State Team Chess Championships at McClintock High School in Tempe.

“This team is just a little more well-rounded and more consistent,” said Vols coach Brian Green. “They don’t crack under pressure. Whereas I probably had more talented teams in recent years, but throughout the season the pressure on the big stage made them crack.”

Green has coached Lee Williams for 12 years and this is the highest any of those teams have finished.


The Vols pose for a team photo. From left, Blake Martinez, Nick Taflan, Maya Kaufman, coach Brian Green, Paige Cody, Alex Green, Morgun Osbourne and Seth Davis. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

The Vols entered the state championship ranked No. 7 and exceeded expectations with a fourth-place tie out of 26 teams.

“This is still a fairly young team,” Green said. “I have two juniors, two freshmen and only one senior on the team. They’ve faced some adversity and they’ve risen to the challenge. It’s pretty crazy.”

Alex Green and Seth Davis each tallied perfect 5-0 records, while Paige Cody received the “biggest upset” medal for defeating someone who was ranked 352 points higher.

The Vols are back in action Friday and Saturday during the State Individual Chess Championships in Yuma.

“I think next year they have a lot of things to prove to everybody,” Green said. “They definitely gained their confidence, so next year is going to be a good season.”