Fencing: Four ECC Titles, Yet Still Underrated

Tara Smith, Editor

In the Lancer community, fencing became a varsity sport in 2015, but the official beginning of fencing here at WHS began back in 2002. Originally started by Dan Greenwald who graduated in 2004 with Mr. Cadarotte as the faculty sponsor. The club started out with only five fencers and has grown over the years. The team this season had 45 members and Coach Teel anticipates interest in the sport will only grow. So far, fencing has won the ECC championship in 2019 and 2020 in Women’s Epee and Men’s Foil. In 2021 the fencers won in Women’s Epee and Women’s Foil. The most recent ECC championship they have won was this past season in 2022 where they took home the title of Men’s Foil, Women’s Foil, and Women’s Epee.

Coach Teel speaks on the highlights of fencing here at our school as they, “train four days a week with competitions on Saturdays”. Their season runs from December to the second week in March as a winter sport. In addition to ECC competitions, Waterford is a sponsor of the Inigo Montoya Novice Tournament and competes in state individual and team tournaments. “Waterford fencers have qualified for and competed in the Junior Olympics and National Tournament in the off-season,” says Coach Teel. Lancer Fencing currently has two alumni fencing Div 1 NCAA teams in college and soon a third with Taylor Wininger Sieve who will be fencing for Lafayette College in the fall.

The 2021-2022 season has been successful for the WHS fencing team. Danielle Nykyforchyn, a senior part of the women’s foil team, discusses the success of the team so far this season. The women’s foil team has gone undefeated this season and consists of Nykyforchyn, Charlotte Morin, Julie Morrison, and Taylor Wininger-Sieve. Men’s foil consists of Corey Sammataro, Ashan Arsad, Derek Valencia, and Rashan Lugaresi. Foil fencing has another set of equipment than epee called a lame, which is a shiny metallic jacket that covers your torso. In foil, you can only score points that land on this lame (your torso). A rule in foil is called right of way, meaning that if someone has the right of way and the two people hit each other at the same time, only one person receives a point. On the other hand, in epee points can be received from touches hitting someone anywhere. Nykyforchyn says, “Epee is a little more defensive as you want to get points but not give them up as well.” Although Nykyforchyn thinks foil is more “technical, as you have to get and maintain right of way to receive points.”

According to Nykyforchyn, the best male fencer at Waterford is Ashan Arsad who “is good at switching up his tactics and adapting to others fencing styles.” He finished second in men’s foil for ECCs. Derek Valencia finished fourth. Nykyforchyn says the two best female fencers are Charlotte Morin and Taylor Wininger-Sieve.  “Charlotte is able to be very consistent and keep a level head when she fences. Taylor has a lot of technical moves that she is able to use very efficiently” says Nykyforchyn. At the team states competition, Women Eppe won the state team tournament along with the Women’s foil got second for the state team. Taylor Wininger-Sieve finished first, Nykyforchyn finished second, and Julie Morrison finished fourth in women’s foil. Hazel Siu finished third in women’s epee. And the Men’s foil got 6th at state teams. At the ECC competition the Women’s foil and eppe teams won the team division and the Men’s foil won ECC teams. Women’s foil also won first at State’s and second in eppe. Mr. Landry comments, “I am so proud of our lancer fencing program and the success they have had over the years. They are such a supportive team to each other. They work hard and compete even harder! If you are not involved in a winter sport, give it a go and see how you do!”