Chapter Five: Downward Spiral

Oh, the year started innocently enough. I started going to Swordsmen again in the fall, meeting up with the old crowd and getting ready for the coming season. After all, Alex was really the only major player we'd lost…we were fully expecting to be the same dominating team we'd been in the past. Brhet was better than ever, Nirav was still doing great, Jung was establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with, and some of us young sophomores were starting to come into our own as well--especially those of us who actually fenced during the off-season. An additional boon for me was that one of my good friends, Craig Cepler, had decided to join the team after seeing how much I had loved it the previous year (and to get out of gym). The only other new fencer (weak recruiting year) was freshman Jeff Godoy, who turned into a promising foil fencer by the end of the year. Time for Oops #1.

Oops #1 was the addition of epee to Nassau County fencing. Previously, foil was the only weapon used--five varsity fencers, in a sort of round robin rotation until one team got seven victories. Now, we'd have three foil and three epee, and the first team to get 10 of the 18 victories (9 matches in each weapon, total round robin) would win. The first point of contention was that the match could actually end in a tie, 9-9. In this case, we now had to count up the total number of points scored and declare a victor based on that. Aside from that madness, we realized that half our team would need to learn an entirely new weapon. None of us had even held an epee before, much less used one! Plus, there's no right-of-way in epee--the first person to score does get the point (Sean would have been so proud); if both fencers hit at the same time, both get a point.

The season started up, and we struggled to figure out who was going to have to switch. Nirav went willingly and soon fell in love with epee, Bryan Greene, Phil Koblence, Ross Gartenlaub, and David Jeon soon switched as well. Not a very deep lineup, but it was a start. Of course, this season wouldn't feel right without a roadblock to hinder progress, so here's Oops #2.

Coach bought the wrong size screws for the epee barrels. They're tiny little screws that go on either side of the tips of the blades, keeping the tip from flying off. These screws were slightly small, made for the wrong type of barrel. As a result, practically every time there was blade contact we'd notice a screw was missing and would have to spend the next ten minutes looking for it on the floor. Later on in the season, we brought a big magnet in a few times to help us find them…the first time we did, we found about fifty. Just when we thought we had at least identified all our problems, about two weeks into the season…Oops #3: This Time It's Mad.

Up to RimRod's Fencing Autobiography
Back to Chapter Three: "Home"coming
Forward to The Eye Poke Incident

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