Bulletin for the Week of March 4


Barring any weather interruptions, here is the schedule for the rest of the winter session.

Practices as normally scheduled, 6:30-9 Mondays (level 1/2) and Wednesdays (Level 3) at Mary Hogan School, for the next 2 weeks (March 4 and 6, March 11 and 13).
The final Level 1/2 class of the winter session is scheduled for March 11. Both make up days (March 18 and March 20) will be used to make up two of the 3 Level 3 classes that have been cancelled this winter. In addition, there will be a bonus Level 3 make up on Monday April 8.

Tues March 5: NO fencing (CCS is in use for town meeting, as is Shelburne facility)
Thurs March 7: Level 3 class at CCS, 6:30-9 (basketball is now over, so we will be starting at 6:30 for the rest of the winter)
March 12 and 14: Level 1/2 and Level 3 classes as regularly scheduled. March 14 will be the final Level 3 class for the season.
Tues March 19 and Thurs March 21: Make up Level 1/2 classes (plus open fencing and CS), to make up the 2/12 snow day plus town meeting cancellation.

March 22-April 1, spring break, no fencing

Tuesdays, Charlotte Central School, April 2-June 4
6:30-8 p.m. Level 1 (beginner) foil/Level 2 foil and epee classes
6:30-9 pm: open fencing

Wednesdays, Mary Hogan School, April 3-June 5
6:30-8 p.m. Level 1 (beginner) foil/Level 2 foil and epee classes
6:30-9 pm: open fencing

If you are currently in Level 1 classes, you are cordially invited to move up to Level 2 this spring! If you are currently renting equipment and would like to continue to rent, please let me know as soon as possible, as I will soon be starting to register new club members for the spring. Ready to buy your own equipment (highly recommended)? Look here for advice:

No Level 3 (advanced classes) are offered in spring. The full schedule, including Level 3 classes and Competitive Squad practices, resumes in September. So what's a Level 3 fencer to do in the spring? Here are some ideas:
-Participate in Level 2 classes to polish your technical skills. Competitive Squad members are welcome to participate in Level 2 classes free of charge (Level 3 students who are not Squaddies pay the usual class fee)
-Come for open fencing only. Once a week not enough? Attend in both Middlebury and Charlotte, you'll get to fence with a greater range of people
-Schedule some private lessons (see below)

Private lessons: I will offer private lessons on 3 more afternoons this winter, March 7 (currently fully booked), March 13 (at MUMS) and March 14 (Charlotte Congregational Church). In the spring, I will offer lessons on 2 Thursday afternoons in April and 2 Thursday afternoons in May (at the church). I have not had enough demand to continue offering lessons in Middlebury through the spring. Coach Geoff continues to have private lesson availabilities on Mon (Middlebury), Tues (Charlotte) and Friday (Vergennes) evenings. He has not yet posted his available times for the spring, but I anticipate he will offer lessons on Tues in Charlotte, Wed in Middlebury and Fri in Vergennes starting in April. Were you one of the lucky ones who won a gift certificate for a lesson in the raffle yesterday? Or just want to take some private lessons? You can sign up for lessons with either Geoff or I here: https://visibook.com/vfafencinglessons

Do you have friends who might be interested in fencing? Now is the time to tell them about our spring classes and have them get in touch with me. For every friend you get to sign up for a Level 1 class, you get $5 off your own class fees.

There are 4 Champlain Cup tournaments left this season. Did you upgrade to competitive membership for the Middlebury Open? You are now good to go for all of these, so sign up and enjoy. Not yet a competitive member (teens and adults)? If you upgrade for the first time after April 1, your membership will be good through all of next season, so it's a great time to join the Champlain Cup league.

Saturday, April 13, Sharon. Annual Foil/Epee Doubles, plus D-under events. For the doubles, enter with a partner, one foilist and one epeeist per team, to fence 10 point relays against the other teams - a really unique and fun format! Stay for afternoon individual events, for fencers rated D or lower (including unrated and novice competitors). Note: I will not make it to this tournament (at NAC that weekend) so in order to compete, you must have your own jacket, mask, glove and underarm protector. I will arrange to send club electric equipment.

April 27-28. Lloyd Staats Memorial Tournament, UVM. Honors the memory of a beloved GMD veteran fencer. Open events and E-Under events in all weapons, plus Youth Foil

April 27-28, UVM. Summer National Qualifiers, for those interested in participating in Summer Nationals (Columbus, OH) in Div2, Div3, Veterans, or Y14 events. Please sign up for these events ONLY if you are actually interested in possibly going to Columbus and you have not yet qualified by some other means. We anticipate not having to actually hold most of these events (thus leaving time for bigger and more exciting Staats Memorial events). If you are not at all interested in going to Columbus for Summer Nationals, please sign up for Staats Memorial events only (see link above)

Sat. May 25 (raindate May 26), Fort Ticonderoga. 22ndt annual Ticonderoga Challenge Outdoor Epee Tournament. Outdoor epee fencing at an 18th Century French fort - what could be better! Open and youth epee events (with a womens DE fence off as well). https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=42359

It takes a village to host a fencing tournament. It takes an amazing village to host an amazing tournament for 26 years in a row. Did you help at the Middlebury Open with reffing, meet management, armory work, set up and clean up, or any of the fundraising tasks (sponsorships, raffle, cafe, t shirts)? Then you are part of the team, and we couldn't have pulled it off without you! Did you compete with a positive attitude and good sportsmanship? Were you friendly and welcoming to visiting fencers, or supportive and encouraging to youth and beginning competitors? You too are part of the team. One word I heard again and again this weekend, from VFA fencers, parents, and especially from visiting fencers from out of state, was "community". We really do have something special here in the VFA and Green Mt Division, and I want to thank all of you for helping create it!

It will take me a while to count the money and settle the bills, so a report on our fundraising efforts will come in a later bulletin, but I'm pretty certain we met our fundraising goals and will start next season in good shape. By the way....to the anonymous donor who left a cashier's check for $400 in my bag in Middlebury last week to cap off our sponsorship drive, your generosity is truly appreciated!

While events were smaller than last year (threatening weather south of us discouraged some out of staters), the quality of fencing was high. Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Middlebury Open!

Youth Foil (8 competitors)
1 May, Ciaran VFA
2 Keepin, Val VFA
3 Biancosino, Kirin VFA
3 Hill, Jansen VFA
Spirit Award: Jacob Hansen

Veteran Foil (7 competitors, E1 event)
1 Robbins, Daniel CDFS - earned E rating
2 Fox, Viveka VFA
3 Davis, Rick VFA
3 Parris, Tom VFA

Unrated Womens Foil (7 competitors, E1 event)
1 Xiang, Emma MFA - earned E rating
2 Cooper, Kelly CDFS
3 Hathaway, Dawn UVFC
3 Tuttle, Anna VFA

Unrated Mens Foil (11 competitors, E1 event)
1 Hanlon, Killian MOE FC -earned E rating
2 Robbins, Daniel CDFS
3 Puffer, Keith MID VT
3 Pratt, Azro MID VT

Open Foil (20 competitors, B1 event)
1 Adler, David UNAT (MA)
2 Simon, Andrew UNAT
3 Brookes, Scott MOE FC
3 Hogan, Benjamin VFA
5 Santulli, Tristan BOSTON FC - earned D rating
6 Hanlon, Killian MOE FC - earned D rating
7 Chu, Tristan MOE FC
8 Robbins, Daniel CDFS

Youth Epee (6 competitors)
1 May, Ciaran VFA
2 Hanna, Torrey VFA
3 Biancosino, Kirin VFA
3 Woodward, Sten VFA
Spirit Award: Namid Ruiz-Warnock

Veteran Epee (19 competitors, A1 event)
1 Tyson, Julian RIVERSIDE -earned A rating
2 Rouse, Joseph CANDLEWOOD - earned B rating
3 Walting, Paul PVFA
3 Sumler, Jeffery MFA
5 Mazzoli, Julio BB-FC
6 Levandowski, Jim CDFS
7 Houst, Michael SFC
8 Fox, Viveka VFA

Unrated Womens Epee (6 competitors, E1 event)
1 Woods, Mary OSFC - earned E rating
2 Morse, Kassandra VFA
3 Cooper, Kelly CDFS
3 Landry, Annabelle ESCRIBEL

Unrated Mens Epee (7 competitors, E1 event)
1 DiBenerdini, Aidan RIFAC -earned E rating
2 Moeykens, Emmet UVFC
3 Kite, Robert VFA
3 Yaggy, Judson VFA

Open Saber (9 competitors, E1 event)
1 Wyatt, Seth PVFA
2 Turner, Emma PVFA
3 D'Souza, Charlie UNAT
3 Hathaway, Dawn UVFC

Open Epee (30 fencers, A2 event)
1 Horak, Peter BAY STATE -earned A rating
2 Wang, Ziheng CFC - earned B rating
3 Malenfant, Vincent SRN
3 Wolosinski, Peter VFA-earned B rating
5 Mazzoli, Julio BB-FC
6 Wyatt, Seth PVFA
7 Tyson, Julian RIVERSIDE
8 Sumler, Jeffery MFA

Performance of the Week: A couple of weeks ago, Peter upped his game at JOs and returned with new confidance. He went 4-1 in his pool, losing only to an A-rated veteran. He faced a B-rated clubmate and training partner in his second DE, and kept his focus for a 15-13 win. In the round of 8, he faced a C rated fencer and controlled the entire bout, leading from the beginning for a 15-8 victory. He lost his semifinal to the eventual winner (a very seasoned competitor, and longtime Champlain Cup favorite), but earned a well deserved B rating. The road to victory is a long and complicated one. In seeking and facing tough opponents, and learning when you lose to them, you build the groundwork for future success. Peter has traveled this road this season, not only going to JOs but also to several ROCs (large regional tournaments). It is great to see him reap the rewards of his hard work!

Honorable Mentions: Three cheers for all of our first time competitors: Ember, Tim, Kosmo, and Anna. Not only did all of them easily best my legendary first tournament record, but all of them won at least one bout, and Anna made a fantastic debut winning 3 pool bouts and a DE. Huzzah also for Jessy S and Kassandra, competing for the first time after several years away from the sport and for the first time as VFA members, with Kassandra adding to the VFA medal count for the weekend. Karen had her best outing yet in a tough Veterans Epee pool, defeating 2 E rated fencers and the other U in the pool, finishing a respectable 10th overall (no Us and only one E finished higher than her). She discovered that when her opponents feared she was going to attack, they rushed their own attacks and left themselves open to her nice counterattacks. Tom Parris also had a good (and busy) weekend, with his best results including an upset DE to get the veteran foil bronze, and an even more impressive 12th place in Open Epee, re-earning his E, and being the best E-rated finisher by 6 places. In his pool, he defeated a C, a D and an unrated fencer, and he defeated a fellow E in his first DE. Ciaran not only repeated as youth epee winner (going undefeated) but he got his first foil gold as well, knocking off the #1 and 2 seeds in DE upsets, and establishing himself as a strong contender for this season's Champlain Cup youth trophy (although it's not over, with one more event in each weapon left to go!). He has another season to go in the youth league, and if he keeps at it, he will be a force to be reckonned with by the time he is old enough to be on the Competitive Squad!