Fencing teams continue tradition of excellence


Many teams at Holy Family have won conference, section, or regional titles. Some have even won one or more state titles. No team, however, has been quite as successful as Holy Family Fencing- which already had two state titles before this year. Now, the team has picked up an additional three state titles.

Wait, what? Is a common response to this. How are there more than one state title?

First of all, fencing comes with three different weapons, and there are separate competitions and titles for each. The weapons are foil, épée, and sabre (Holy Family does not fence sabre). Foil has a smaller sword and target area, and uses a system of right-of-way to determine who receives the point in case of a simultaneous attack. Epée uses a larger sword, allows any part of the body as target, and uses double points in lieu of right-of-way. Of the three state titles picked up by the fencing team, one was by the Women’s Epée team, and the other two were by the Women’s Foil team.

That makes more sense, but that’s still two titles for the same thing, one might say. However, that’s not actually true. There’s two types of state titles- the regular state title, and the team event title. The regular one is based off of season performance and performance of individuals at the individual portion of the state event. This is the title that the épée team won, and one of the two that the foil team won.

The other one, the team event title, is determined by teams fencing against each other up to forty-five points in a bracket structure. If a team loses even one of these mega-bouts, they are eliminated. The Women’s Foil team defeated each team in their path in order to win this title. Additionally, the Women’s Epee team came in third in this event.

Some individuals did particularly well in their events. Emily Sokolis came in 2nd in Women’s Foil. Natalie Wideman came in 6th for Women’s Epee. Docker Peichel came in 13th amongst Men’s Foil. Finally, Ava Kunze came in 15th in Women’s Foil.

Why was there so much success this year? “Lots of hard work,” says Melissa Espinoza of the Women’s Epee team. Indeed, the team has worked hard. It also has benefited immensely from the excellent coaching of Coaches Brown, Datta, and Peichel. Gratitude also goes out to the parents, to the school, and to everyone who helped make the amazing season possible.

If anyone finds fencing interesting, they are highly encouraged to give it a try in the next season- which has high potential to be just as successful as this one. Until then, though, that’s it for Holy Family Fencing. It was a great season!