The Blue Devil boys' and girls' teams at the county championships at Newfield.

H-ton Boys Fencers Peak at County Championships

The Blue Devil boys' and girls' teams at the county championships at Newfield.

February 14, 2020

The Huntington boys’ fencing team closed out its season at the county championships with several Blue Devils battling their way to awards.

Senior Nicholas Kretschmer fenced his way to first team All-League and second team All-County honors in sabre. Senior Neil Jean-Baptiste garnered second team All-League recognition, also in sabre.

Sophomore Luca D’Anna and junior Miles Tierney both notched second team All-League and honorable mention All-County honors in foil.

Senior Riley Tucker was second team All-League and second team All-County in epee.

Kretschmer went 15-4 in league competition and was 23-11 overall, winning 68 percent of his bouts. “A four year varsity fencer and sabre captain, Nick was crucial in bringing the team together and boosting morale,” said assistant coach Vin O’Garra, who worked with the boys’ squad. “He could get the team to rally for come-from-behind wins. He led the sing-along on our bus rides.”

“Overall, I feel that everyone improved this fencing season and our support of each other was absolutely amazing,” Kretschmer said. “Our team spirit was the strongest I’ve ever seen it in my four years on the team. The support and encouragement allowed my teammates and I to reach above and beyond our goals this season. Personally, I did significantly better than last season, with a record of 23-11. I can’t imagine a better season to end my high school fencing career.”

Jean-Baptiste is leaving the Blue Devil program after garnering post-season honors. “This season has been the greatest one since I have been on the team,” he said. In particular, everyone was devoted to improving in the sport. Every meet and every bout contained high energy. Every loss came with great reflection and motivation to perform better at the next contest. We’re an inseparable unit and family formed in such a short amount of time.”

Tucker was 17-5 in league action, winning 77 percent of his bouts and 25-11 overall with a 70 percent winning percentage. “A six-year varsity fencer and epee captain, Riley was recruited by his older brother in seventh grade,” O’Garra said. “He consistently anchored the team and pulled off many comeback victories during difficult meets.”

“I’d say the fencing season went phenomenal this year, probably even my favorite year yet,” Tucker said. “Our senior leadership team felt very strong and focused, which helped to make the season more fun for everyone, even the coaches. I made All-League and All-County for the second year in a row and the rest of the team performed phenomenal during the regular season and at counties. The team as a whole did fantastic, especially when compared to last year’s performance when we only scored a total of two wins. This season, just like the rest, will remain fondly in my memory for a long, long time.”

D’Anna won 58 percent of his overall bouts and Tierney captured 50 percent of his to establish themselves as the top two underclassmen on the Blue Devil squad.

Senior Gabriel Medina-Jaudes also turned in a solid season. A six year varsity fencer and sabre captain, he was recruited to the program by his sister. “Gabe has been extremely dedicated to the team during his entire career while continuing to prosper academically,” O’Garra said.

The roster also included seventh graders Brandon Cohen, Thomas Davis and Thomas Galicia-Martinez; eighth graders Jake Amend, Benjamin Edgar-McNerney and Chase Williams; freshmen Jeffrey Garcia-Cabrera, Timothy Kusterbeck and Liam Tucker; sophomores David Canas Granados, Axel Cattano, James Kretschmer and Matthew Mead; junior Gabriel Moskovitch; seniors Paul Katigbak, Diego Torres and Brandon Varady.

“Team morale and attitude was phenomenal this year,” O’Garra said. “Team members were able to lift each other up and they massively improved their overall team and personal records this season.”

The Blue Devil boys’ squad went from two wins last year to six this winter. Next year’s team will be a mix of youth and veteran fencers. “Boys sabre will take a big loss in numbers with graduation, but there are many JV fencers who show promise to be able to fill their spot on the bench,” O’Garra said.