Huntington fencing has one of the longest and most impressive histories of any program in Suffolk. The Blue Devils are continuing the legacy of late coach Alan Kuver and this year’s boys’ and girls’ teams have both been competitive during the first half of the season.
Entering the current week, the Blue Devil boys’ squad is 5-2 while the girls’ team is 3-4. “At this point we have faced every school except for Walt Whitman and Ward Melville,” second year coach Michelle O’Brien said. “Both teams are competitive and it often goes to the last few, if not the very last bout to determine victory or loss. Scores ending with 14-13 are always very nerve wracking for the fencers as well as the coaches.”
Epee is the anchor weapon in every meet and the outcome of the contest is often left to that particular group of team members. Fortunately for Huntington, the Blue Devils have strong boys’ and girls’ epee units.
Senior Téa Khokhar and junior Lianna DeChiaro lead the girls’ epee contingent while senior Connor Grosso and juniors Finneas Tucker and Quinn Blackburn pace the boys’ epee squad. Tucker is 14-1 this winter.
Boys’ foil is also strong with senior Dawson Wallace and junior Joshua Yanuck sparkling.
Huntington recently faced notable tests at the Brentwood Holiday Tournament and the Ward Melville Underclassmen Challenge.
Huntington’s top finishers at Brentwood included: Quinn Blackburn (19th) and Finn Tucker (21st) in boys’ epee, Lianna DeChiaro (18th) in girls’ epee; Lars Drace (21st) in boys’ sabre; Lydia Witt (20th) and Adina Kirkland (23rd) in girls’ sabre; Joshua Yanuck (10th), Dawson Wallace (20th) and Casey DiGiacomo (24th) in boys’ foil. Each respective weapon featured more than 50 individual competitors.
Last week’s competition at Ward Melville gave fencers in grades 7-10 who aren’t varsity starters an opportunity to show what they can do. Awards were presented to the top fencers in each grade, although they squared off against opponents from a mixture of grades.
Huntington’s top performances in the competition at Ward Melville included:
9th grade: Riley Tucker, 2nd place
10th grade: Connor Dougal, 5th place-
10th grade: Dominick Stanley, 3rd place
9th grade: Neil Jean-Baptiste, 5th place
10th grade: Cornelius O’Rourke, 4th place
10th grade: Matthew Baker, 3rd place-
10th grade: Mathew Hearl, 2nd place
10th grade: Adriana Scarpati, 4th place
9th grade: Josie Fasolino, 8th place
9th grade: Lia Shechter, 7th place
10th grade: Katie Burton, Champion
“These fencers had the benefit of some of their more experienced mentors coming with us to spend the day to help them out, including Sabrina Floro, Dylan Bluemer, Adina Kirkland and Francesca Greco,” O’Brien said.
In addition to O’Brien, the Huntington fencing staff includes veteran Valinda O’Garra and newcomer Cheryl Feldman.
“We are looking forward to continue improving our season record as well as our fencing skills,” O’Brien said. The Blue Devils will host squads from across the metropolitan area in the Huntington Relay on Saturday, January 21 in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium.