Fantastic Fencing
by Brett Williams, Staff Writer

As the season winds down, much can be said about the West Geauga fencing team. It has been a great season for the team, with highlights that have been unparalleled in years past. Members of the mens team include senior Matt Platek, junior Joe Daddario, sophomore Max Richards, and freshman Kevin McKinney. The sole female competitor, junior Rachel Saiger, rounds out the team. The fencing team, a club sport, competes with area schools and at tournaments.
The intricacies of the sport may be unfamiliar to many readers, so a brief introduction is in order. Fencing is basically sword-fighting, scored on a point system dealing with, “touches” or contact made by the sword when it hits the body. The competitors wear extensive safety equipment, and, yes, the swords’ tips are blunted. There are three types of swords that the fencing team competes in: epee, saber, and foil. Fencers can earn rankings according to their skill on an “ABC” USFA ranking scale. This season Matt Platek earned a “B” ranking in epee, while Joe Daddario earned a “C” ranking in both the foil and epee. These rankings are extremely hard to obtain, and it is extremely impressive that both Platek and Daddario were able to compete at high enough a level to earn them.
Other individual highlights include Daddario’s 3rd place finish in the foil at the state competition, Rachel Saiger’s 11th place finish at the state competition, Matt Platek’s 1st place finish in epee at the Shaker tournament, and Max Richardson’s 1st place in epee at the Rocky River High School tournament.
At team competitions, the West Geauga fencers have dominated the field. At the state competition, they placed an amazing 3rd, their best showing since 2002. They won the West Geauga Snowbelt Challenge, the Rocky River High School tournament, and the Northern Ohio Regional Scholastic Fencing Championships, among others. “This fencing season has been coming along really well,” said Joe Daddario. “I hope that we will do just as well next year.”