Boys’ Fencing Remain Undefeated

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Senior and co-captain of the boys’ fencing team, Max Chan, faced off against one of Long Island City’s top fencers. Chan evaded his opponent’s attacks while landing multiple back flicks, which involved bending the blade to touch the opponent. The team prevailed with a 90-30 victory.

Currently gunning for the 16th straight undefeated season, each Stuyvesant fencer has recorded five touches and allowed only two Long Island City fencers to reach five, limiting most to one to two touches. Stuyvesant sits at the top of its division after winning the first four games of the season. “We’ve fenced a few games so far and have been winning by huge margins, like 90-15, 90-18, etc,” Chan said. An opponent has yet to come within 50 points of Stuyvesant, another testament to the team’s dominance.

These victories are not unexpected to the members of the team. “Our practices are some of the most rigorous you'll find, both mentally and physically. Fencing really is a combination of both physical and mental dexterity. That's why it's sometimes referred to as ‘Physical Chess,’” Chan said. Practices are where teams gain the mindset and technique to compete in games, and their practices have been guiding the team to this undefeated season.

Coach Joel Winston’s mentoring attitude for the members of his team have helped them all flourish this season. “He helps us a lot with improving our fencing, but apart from that, he’s also very encouraging and helps us grow closer as a team,” senior and co-captain Jerome Freudenberg said.

Beside the Stuyvesant practices, another key reason for this high level of play is the amount of time the starters are putting into the sport. “A lot of our fencers fence outside of school during the off-season so we have a considerable advantage. We have a more dedicated team than most others,” Freudenberg said. These include all six starters: Chan, Freudenberg, senior and co-captain Thompson Hui, seniors Eric Zhang and Benny He, and sophomore Tazman Libson. These six have a combined 47-2 record so far this year. By fencing outside of Stuyvesant, the players compete more often than other players on opposing teams. “Normally, schools have just one or two good fencers who fence at club and who carry the whole team, but this year we have a whole starting lineup of them,” Chan said.

At 4-0 and coming off 15 undefeated regular seasons, the fencing team has high hopes for the rest of its season. Led by a strong senior class, an undefeated record is definitely a possibility for the team. Even beyond the regular season, the team definitely has the ability to go deep into the playoffs and possibly win a championship. “Of course, everything just comes down to that one day,” Chan said. “But I trust my team, my co-captains, and I am confident we can succeed at playoffs this year.”