Week In Idaho

Last week I was back in Idaho following the second year of Fencing In The Schools sharing the sport with the communities of Pocatello, Rigby, and now Blackfoot. They’re in 7 schools now! Idaho is just one of 9 states that Fencing In The Schools has reached since they started last year. This year they hope to expose the sport to 20,000 kids throughout the country in grades 3-12. Here are some highlight photos from the trip!
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American Fencing Magazine

American Fencing Magazine 1Check it out! High school level fencing is definitely growing in America, but no one does it like New Jersey. This quarter’s American Fencing Magazine features great insight into New Jersey High School Fencing, written by Olympic Team Captain, Jeff Bukantz.

And the film gets a nod at the end of the article! Thanks, Jeff 🙂

 

 

American Fencing Magazine 2American Fencing Magazine 3

 

 

 

 

 

American Fencing Magazine 4American Fencing Magazine 5

 

NCAA Champions Penn State

Penn State homepageI was pleasantly surprised to find this pop-up on the Penn State Athletics page! Congrats to Penn State on their 13th NCAA Championship Title! Yea yea, wrestling is sharing the page, but they also won this weekend. It reminds me of how my fencing practice space at NYAC shares the basement with wrestling. And my dad was a wrestler. Maybe fencing and wrestling have more in common than we think…

Congrats to all the NJ fencers that competed in the NCAAs as well! Here are some results from NJ:Cooper Schumacher 8th ME (Pompton Lakes)
Charles Clark 16th ME (Teaneck)
Brian Kaneshige 8th MF (Columbia)
Andrew Kelly 24th MS (Columbia)
Ashley Severson 10th WE (Ramapo)
Jackie Dubrovich 3rd WF (Pompton Lakes)
Jennifer Yamin 23rd WF (Northern Highlands)
Ambika Singh 9th WF (Montgomery)
Alisha Gomez-Shah 18th WS (Wayne Hills)
Celina Merza 9th WS (Wayne Hills)

Let me know if I forgot anyone!

NJ Individual State Champions

As fencing is ultimately an individual sport, we also filmed the NJSIAA State Individuals at Montgomery High School this weekend. Check out the medal winner below:

WS Indiv 2014Francesca Russo wins an historic fourth title as the NJSIAA Girl’s Sabre champion!

WE Indiv 2014Independent fencer, Dariya Yefremenko, wins Girl’s Epee representing Colts Neck, NJ

ME Indiv 2014Montclair’s Lucas Della Bella won the Boy’s Epee title in the day’s only gold medal fence-off with Columbia’s Bryn Hammarberg.

Nicole Vaiani of Ranney (left) and John Vaiani of CBA (right) became the first brother-sister Foil pair to win state titles in the same year.

WF Indiv 2014

MF Indiv 2014

Eddie Chin took gold for Livingston in Boy’s Sabre.

MS Indiv 2014

Preseason Predictions

Predictions are everywhere at the start of sports seasons. Fencing is NOT an exception in the state of New Jersey! Here are some links to predictions by the Star Ledger and NorthJersey.com:

Star Ledger Boys Fencing
Star Ledger Girls Fencing

North Jersey Boys Fencing
North Jersey Girls Fencing

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Tonight we were back at NJFA to film another Columbia HS fencing practice. You can see our crew behind the sea of stretching fencers. Also, a huge shout out to Coach Ibtihaj Muhammad for her Women’s Sabre NAC gold medal in Dallas this weekend!

Visit to Durham, NC

Last weekend, I had a great adventure in Durham, NC getting to know the fencers and team at Mid-South Fencers Club. I even got to fence in their first tournament at their new location! The Mid-South Fencers Club expanded into their new space two weeks and you could still smell the new paint. I met some great competitors and families from around North Carolina and even some neighboring states. Everyone was so welcoming and we got some great interviews for the film.

MSFCHollyfilming
In between fencing and filming (literally, during my 10-minute DE breaks), we found that North Carolina does have a high school league but it works more like after school club. They only have foil for high school fencers, but clubs in the area do have all three weapons. It sounds like they want more fencing in their schools but there’s a lack of organization and funding to raise the levels of the school clubs. Oh, and some kind of state rule about sports not being recognized as varsity unless 20% of the schools in the state have the sport. So they would have to go from 11 teams to 90. Yikes. New Jersey doesn’t even have that. More investigation is needed, but it’s great to see that the fencing spirit is strong in North Carolina. Thanks again to Jen Oldham and Jeff Kallio for hosting me!

MSFC tournament
1st place in the Black Friday Mixed Epee event.

IndieGoGo Campaign is Live

Our crowd-funding campaign on IndieGoGo is officially LIVE!

IndieGoGo
It’s taken a long time to get this together, but we finally launched our fundraising campaign today. It ends on January 3rd, 2014 (the Friday before the Santelli and Cetrulo tournaments) so please share it with your friends, your family, anyone you know who fences, fenced, thinks fencing is cool.

You can copy the link here to find the campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fencing-for-the-edge/x/185359