Carrboro Commons

Chess clubs set up in Carrboro

Posted on March 4th, 2010 in Carrboro Connections,Sports by jock

By Elizabeth Jensen

Jason Casden’s dad can beat him in about 15 moves, blindfolded. His dad turns his back to the board and tells his son where to move his pieces.

His dad is a scholastic chess instructor and has achieved a master’s level ranking. He leads the Mulligan Chess Club at Scottie’s Coffee & Tea House in Worthington, Ohio.

“He always wants to have me get beaten by one of his third or fourth graders,” Casden said.

“There you go, attacking me already,” Sharon Eisner says as Jason Casden moves his knight to a position that threatens her queen, the most powerful piece in a chess game. “Look at that, no fear.” Tyler Jessee, 11, watches and thinks about how he’d get out of the trap. (Staff photo by Elizabeth Jensen)

In November, Casden visited his dad’s club, and the relaxed, fun environment inspired him to start the Carrboro Chess Club. The club meets at 3 p.m. on Saturdays at Jessee’s Coffee & Bar at 401 E. Main St.

But Casden isn’t the only one starting a chess club in Carrboro.

Henry Johnston heads the Rising Tide Chess Club that meets Wednesdays, 6 p.m., at Open Eye Café at 101 S. Greensboro St.

“The idea is that a drop of water all alone dries up, but when we come together, we’ll be a rising tide that will sink all of the ships,” club member Eric Slavin said. “If one of us wins a tournament, we will have all have won.”

Johnston started meeting informally with local players after he returned from Iceland in May. He was there to learn Icelandic. In the fall, he went to Ukraine for three months to study chess from an international master.

Soccer league co-founder ushers in 37th season

Posted on March 4th, 2009 in Carrboro Connections,Features,Growth and development,Sports by jock

By Erica Satten
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

On Saturday, Feb. 21, Vicky Brawley sat in front of a large group of new soccer coaches on the Rainbow Soccer fields, located on Cleland Road, and gave a coaching speech that she knew by heart. Brawley, who has directed Rainbow Soccer for 37 years, was kicking off yet another spring season.

satten_rainbowfinal.jpg Caption: Vicky Brawley, director of Rainbow Soccer, introduces new coaches to the league during a coaching clinic on Saturday, Feb. 21. Brawley is starting another spring season after managing Rainbow Soccer for 37 years.Staff photo by Erica Satten

Since Brawley helped create Rainbow Soccer in 1972, it has become a large recreational league for residents of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas. The league has more than 1,500 players every season. Nine of the program’s coaches and 133 of its players live in Carrboro.

Brawley’s emphasis on the recreational aspect of Rainbow Soccer makes the league different from other soccer programs. “Rainbow Soccer is not all about winning, like many other competitive leagues,” Brawley said. “It’s about making sure that everyone has a fun time.”

According to Brawley, the important part of Rainbow Soccer is that it gives participants an opportunity to spend time outdoors, meet friends and exercise. “Vicky calls herself the guardian of the Rainbow Soccer spirit,” said Alan Grier, who has helped Brawley manage the league since he moved to Chapel Hill in 2001. “She really is strong about maintaining the recreational style of the program and welcoming all kids no matter what.”

Although Brawley co-founded the program, she never played soccer and did not know the rules of the sport while growing up in Winston-Salem. Her former husband, Kip Ward, became passionate about soccer as a child. When Ward moved to London because of his father’s military position, his soccer skills helped him become friends with other teenagers.

Maple View Challenge runners race to end hunger

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in Lifestyles,Sports by ERafferty

By Katie Spencer
Carrboro Commons Writer

Just prior to the torrential downpour Sunday, a storm of runners descended on Carrboro for a pint of Maple View ice cream.

I was among the 250 willing to fill up on dairy halfway through a five kilometer run, all for a good cause.

spencer_icecream1.jpg Nick Hutchins and Matt Hamrick perform for the crowd’s applause. The duo barely beat out the “dancing cow” to win best costume.
Staff photo by Katie Spencer

The event was called the Maple View Challenge, a local version of North Carolina State University’s Krispy Kreme Challenge, where runners eat a dozen doughnuts in the middle of a four mile race.

We started at the Morehead Planetarium and went down Cameron Avenue to the Roberson bike path. At the end of the path we found a well organized ice cream eating station. Anyone competing had to finish off a pint of strawberry sorbet or vanilla, chocolate-chip or double-chocolate ice cream before heading back the same way, full of dairy.

I have never seen the bike path so crowded. The returning runners had one thing on their minds: keeping the ice cream down.

The idea came from UNC-Chapel Hill students David Campbell, a senior environmental studies major, and João Toste, a junior economics major, who were training for a triathlon at the time. The two stopped at Maple View Farm just north of Carrboro, where they joked about an event that combined physical exercise with eating ice cream.

Carrboro High’s athletic director builds new foundation

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in School news,Sports by nhturner

By Sean Umstead
Carrboro Commons Writer

umstead_ross1.jpg Carrboro High School Athletic Director April Ross sits at her desk preparing the necessary behind the scenes work that must be done for sporting events to go off without a hitch.
Staff photo by Sean Umstead

When the Charlotte Bobcats began their inaugural season in 2004 they won a modest 22 percent of their games. Setting up one team clearly has challenges; setting up 20 new teams could be overwhelming.

That is what April Ross, Carrboro High School’s athletic director, has on her plate after taking over for Steve Reinhart, who resigned in December.

Ross, originally from Bath, was an athletic administrator at Briggs High School in Columbus, Ohio, before returning to North Carolina.

“I had been looking to come back home, and to open a brand new building to start something great from the beginning, which was one of my career goals,” Ross said.

Ross said her responsibilities include managing coaches, monitoring athletes’ academic eligibility, ordering transportation, scheduling and everything else that’s required to make a program run smoothly.

Ross said the new student athletes are putting forth an extraordinary effort to get teams off to a good start.

“The student athletes try extremely hard,” Ross said. “They give it 100 percent.”

Ross said she understands the difficulty of a new school trying to compete with established and perennially successful teams.
“We don’t have that experience factor,” she said.

Ross said chemistry within each team is key to building strong foundations, which is even more important when competing with teams that have been together for many years. She said such as foundation can be established by athletes working with their teammates throughout the summer.

Carrboro High women’s soccer team learning, growing

Posted on March 28th, 2008 in School news,Sports by rldecker

By Alexandra Mansbach
Carrboro Commons Writer

Even the pouring rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the women’s Carrboro High School soccer team on a recent game night.

Carrboro High School took on the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics on March 19 in a game riddled with rain, wind and power outages. But the team stayed strong, passing accurately and communicating clearly — eventually ending the game with a 1-1 tie in overtime. The Carrboro soccer squad appeared to be anything but a new team.

mansbach_soccer.jpg Coach Robin Bulleri talks to the Carrboro High School women’s soccer team during halftime of their March 19 game.
Staff photo by Alexandra Mansbach

“This is an entirely new program. The teams are actually very young,” said Scott Swartzwelder, president of the CHS Athletic Booster Club. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword.”

The newness of the program gives students who have little experience in sports a chance to play and, because there are no seniors at the school, no players will graduate at the end of this school year.

“There are lots of kids with little experience,” Swartzwelder said. “We’ve got some great athletes here, and a lot of these kids wouldn’t even get to play somewhere else.”