High school Saber Fencing season is back in full swing

Melensdad

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Good but long day yesterday.

Our first HIGH SCHOOL fencing tournament of the season.

We had a modest size fencing tournament, about 250 fencers, divided into the 3 different weapons. Epee. Foil. Saber.

I have had a frustrating several weeks leading up to this event with, what I thought, we bad practices. Apparently I was wrong. I had 11 of my saber fencers finish in the TOP 16 in the saber event. 2 of my girls earned medals. Picked up a Bronze and a 5th place medal. Medals are awarded to the TOP 8 in typical fencing tournaments. It was the first time that either of the medal winners had ever won a medal.

My girls were amazing, way exceeding my expectations.

My guys did about as well as I expected. They think they know what they are doing so they don't listen, don't think the rules matter, etc. I've actually had some ask me what if I don't do what you say ... to which I respond YOU WILL LOSE.

The girls know they don't know what to do so they actually listen and do what I say. Clearly several of them learned and understood and implemented. I was really happy with that!

Dominic the Epee fencer who I don't coach, but who calls me coach and who I do work with on non-fencing issues for college won the gold in his event. It was fun to watch him because he is so much better than the other kids its actually funny to watch his bouts.

One of my former Marian Catholic girls invited me to come back and coach at Marian ... and she did that in front of the head coach that doesn't like me. One of the other Marian coaches took photos of me with the Marian kids that I used to coach for their annual fencing yearbook. I'm sure the head coach is just loving all this :boxing:


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After the high school event I drove over to the Northwestern University dual meet. They had teams from Lawrence U, U of Wisconsin, Indiana U, Purdue U and U of Chicago. I have kids on the Lawrence, Indiana and Purdue teams so I wanted to stop buy and offer a bit of moral support.

My friend, international competitor and coach Charlie Rohrlack was there as a bout director so I chatted with him at the end of the event.

Overall a great day.
 

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Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
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I miss Dasha!
(Good pics, Bob)
:smile:

We pick her up at the airport on Friday :thumbup:

We are going to the North American Challenge tournament in Milwaukee. There are over 230 top female fencers in her event alone. Probably close to 2500 total fencers will at the tournament.

Dasha's event will be the most important of her career as it is the last major event before college acceptance letters are sent out.
 

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
GOLD Site Supporter
We wish her all the best! :thumb:
I'm hoping that Dasha finishes in the Top 32 at this event.

This is a national event but draws some international competitors as well. Dasha competes in the same category as the top college fencers, members of the US National Team, etc.

I'm trying not to ask/pester her about college or fencing because she is under a lot of pressure right now, but I'm hoping she has her mind in the right place and she is in top condition. I know her coach is working hard to have her ready for this event.
 

Melensdad

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Well at least I didn't break a hip today :applause:

But I did take a good fall backwards :smileywac

I should have known better. I was doing some drills with a few kids on one side of a basketball court. The majority of the kids were doing bouts on the other side. They set up a fencing strip behind where I was doing the drills, my back to them. I retreated over the top of a 'floor reel' that was behind me and fell. My left wrist, the arthritic one, broke my fall and then my back hit the ground next. I'm starting to get sore already. Figure I'll be in a bit rougher shape tomorrow.

For special occasions like this the doctor gave me real pills. I rarely take them. tonight will be THAT night. Hoping tomorrow isn't too bad.
 

Melensdad

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It was a rough night trying to sleep. Got up at 2am an took a couple pain pills.

But I've woken up younger and in more pain than I feel this morning so it looks like I didn't do any serious damage to my body when I took the backwards tumble yesterday afternoon :clap:
 

Melensdad

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Officially on CHRISTMAS BREAK from the high school fencers :thumbup:

Yesterday was a good day for me and my kids.

I have 2 girls on the high school team that qualified for the tournament yesterday. I also have a girl at the fencing club that has been wanting to get into competitions. I needed a 3 person team for the competition. Fortunately the competition rules allow 'blended' teams with fencers from different schools so my club girl was put with the school girls and we made a 3 girl team.

GIRLS WON GOLD :clap:

I was hoping for maybe a SILVER medal. One of my girls is awesome. The other is solid but no way is she outstanding. The club fencer is unsure of herself and sometimes can perform well, sometimes not. But skills are good when she has some confidence. The final round, the 2 teams were tied 4 wins each in a best out of 9 bouts. The score was 4-3 in the 9th bout. There was a lot of cheering when my club girl scored the last touch winning the bout 5-3 and the event with a 5-4 record!

BOYS WON SILVER so I told them they have a lot of hard work to do to catch up to the girls :boxing:

2 of my boys are very good, the 3rd is very solid with potential. All are really fast and athletic, but all are also brand new and unseasoned. When the girls won GOLD I thought there was a realistic chance the boys might do the same. It was another nail biter. Boys were tied 4 bouts to 4 bouts in a best of 9. Lost the last bout 4-5.

BEST part of my day was when several of the kids, independently, came up to me and thanked me for coaching them. Nobody told them to do that. These are just good kids. I had several parents come up to me and do the same. Never had this sort of appreciation shown to me at either of the other 2 schools where I've coached.

2ND BEST part was watching some of my WORST fencers perform well. My absolute worst kid never wins bouts. I was at his side when he won 2 in the competition. He loves fencing, just not coordinated, and not an athlete. More of a potato with limbs. But he has spirit and tries. Every day he tries. Loved watching him win. As a coach I had kids spread out and fencing concurrently so it was hard to spend too much time with anyone in particular, it was great to be with him when he won some bouts. Big accomplishment for him.

Photo below are my HS kids. 2 look like criminals. 1 looks like a strung out meth abuser. But don't say I said that because they might kill me while I sleep :bolt: Actually all are pretty much nice "nerds" who participate in school activities like Chess Club and Band and other similar things. I'm pretty sure all are Honors students. Seriously love these kids, they show me a tremendous amount of respect, are the most polite kids I've met in a long while. Super nice kids. I actually have about 20 kids on my saber team but these were the medal winners, there is not a bad kid in the whole bunch!
 

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Melensdad

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G.L.H.S.F.C.J.V. Championship was yesterday.

I took 1 girl to the event. It was only the 2nd individual event she had ever attended and the first high school individual event for her.

She won the 6th Place Medal :applause:


I also had 6 boys from my high school team in attendance. 2 of the boys had strong chances at medals going into the event. The others are all very much beginners in need of experience. Some of the beginners actually fenced very well and I was happy with their progress.

Of the 2 who went in with medal potential one earned SILVER :clap: while the other earned a 7 place medal :thumbup:


I considered it a good day.
 

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