Fencing, Foiled yet again
by Meghan Offtermatt, Assistant Editor

On November 6th the 2007-2008 West Geauga High School fencing season commenced. Fencing is technically a winter sport at the high school, but the club actually runs throughout the entire year. The team participated in its first tournament, an invitational, on November 30th at Shaker Heights High School. The returning letter winners on this years’ team consist of senior Matt Platek and junior Joe Daddario, both of whom placed in their division at Shaker, Matt placing 5th and Joe placing 1st. Non-letter participants include freshman Kevin Mckinney, who placed 3rd at the tournament, sophomore Max Richards, and the lone female, junior, Rachel Saiger. Although the team is small, they seem to rise to each and every challenge that fencing presents and emerge victorious.
The program is a club sport and the fencers practice in the high school cafeteria with coach, Ms. Jen Tulleners. Although the high school team is small, they are joined by a larger middle school team for practice. Along with fencing at the high school, a few select members of the team also fence at Shaker and at a club in Chardon called, Caldera. The high school is found fencing elsewhere a lot, but will conveniently be hosting the snow-belt challenge this season.
Although the season didn’t officially begin until the 30th, select fencers were found at Carnegie Mellon University on November 10th, competing for higher ratings and scores. Ratings are how fencers stand nationally and they can be ranked A, B, C, D, E, and U. A is the highest rating a fencer can receive and is usually associated with the best fencers, while U is the lowest. U does not necessarily mean that a fencer is at the lowest point, but possibly that she/he has just started, or has not fenced in many tournaments. The tournaments work as brackets in a sense where there are pools of a certain number, followed by direct elimination. The fencers who are directly eliminated face the best fencers and points are determined by bouts won (fencing matches), touches scored, and touches received.
One select fencer happened to do particularly well at Carnegie Mellon this past month and that was Joe Daddario. Joe fenced two direct eliminations and won both, 15-0. He then moved on to an elimination round where he won to move into the semifinals. In a perilous and rigorous match against a profound fencer, Joe managed to place the final two touches to win the tournament. With a first place, Joe was able to receive his “C” rating.
Now the team, as a whole, prepares for their next meet, hopefully to succeed in placing higher ratings as the year progresses.