The following sports report was submitted by Ramapo Fencing Coach Paul Apostol:
It was a disappointing day all around on Sunday as the sabre squad, which finished 1st at Cetrulo, dropped to 4th place in the State Squad Championship, while the epee squad, which finished 2nd at Cetrulo dropped to 5th at States.
Foil also lagged, placing 13th at States out of the field of 16, a lower placement than their 26th out of 48 schools at Cetrulo. The entire team did their best but it was just one of those days where hardly anything they tried went well. It may be that North Hunterdon is at a higher altitude than Ramapo and the thin air did not have enough oxygen for the boys to operate at full throttle.
Alex Gorloff on the sabre A-strip and Adam Carcione on the B-strip both went 11-4. While these were good records, they were both disappointed that their loses were against fencers they had beaten many times before. The problem was that they both made mistakes in executing their attacks, which exposed them to successful responses by their opponents. Their mistakes were the result of mental lapses not lack of technique. Again, I think it was the lack of oxygen. Our C-strip fencer Chris Muller started strong with two victories but then went into a slump, losing 3 of his next 4 bouts. We subbed in Greg Duch, who won his first bout but then lost the next two. We put Muller back in and he won his next 4 bouts in a row but then dropped his last two bouts to two of the toughest schools in the competition, Columbia and Gov. Livingston, which both finished in the top three. Chris and Greg finished with a combined 8-7 record on the C-strip. One other observation was that Ramapo was the only school with four juniors and no seniors. This squad will be a formidable force to be reckoned with next year.
Epee C-strip fencer, Matt Martone, had the best record at 11-4. What led to Matt’s excellent record was that he won 6 out of the 7 of his bouts where he was tied 4-4 with his opponent and then successfully landed the winning 5th touch. In any of the three weapons a 4-4 score, where the next touch means victory or defeat, increases the pressure at least 5 fold. Matt did a great job of performing very well under that pressure. A-strip fencer Sam Judd had a respectable 9-6 record, but like his sabre teammates, Sam was disappointed to lose to fencers that he had often beaten. Like Matt, Sam did an excellent job with the pressure of 4-4 bouts by winning all three of them. B-strip fencer, Scott Zellers, who went 7-8, could not find his groove today. He beat several of the very tough fencers but lost to some that were not as good as he is. He went 2-3 in his 4-4 bouts, which kept him from a better result.
Ramapo foilists, only one of whom has been a club fencer in recent years, saw what it was like to fence against opponents all of whom have been club fencers for at least 4 years, but in many cases as many as 6 or seven years, and who regularly fence in the national circuit events. Dan Kim on the B-strip turned in the best performance going 7-8. Nick Carpino and Eugene Won alternated on the C-strip and Tanner Frank fenced on the A-strip but the combined score from both strips was only 5-25. Virtually all of the schools that finish towards the top of the heap, in all three weapons, have 100% club membership and 100 percent participation in outside competitions and in many cases it is mandatory.
The next competition is the State Individual Championship on March 3. Three of our fencers, Alex Gorloff and Adam Carcione in sabre and Sam Judd in epee, qualified to fence because of their top 5 result at Districts. Parents will drive the fencers to Montgomery HS, so there will be no bus. Foil and epee registration closes at 8:30 a.m. and sabre closes at 11:00 a.m.
Please come support the team... it makes a difference!
Ramapo’s prior dual meets against: Nyack 28-1 (14-1), Fair Lawn 23-4 (14-2), Passaic Valley 16-11 (14-7), Bernards 15-12 (14-12), Columbia 11-16 (8-14), Don Bosco 13-14 (12-14), Pompton Lakes 17-10 (14-5), Northern Highlands 19-8 (14-4), Indian Hills 15-12 (14-5), Bergen Tech 19-8 (14-3), W. Milford 18-9 (14-6), Wayne Hills 18-9 14-7), Teaneck 17-10 (14-10)
State championship meets against: Pingry 16-11 (14-10), Ridge 13-14 (12-14)
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