WARREN, NJ - Watchung Hills' Coach Rich Brown has been named the 2013-14 Star-Ledger Boys Fencing Coach of the Year.
Watchung Hills has transformed itself from a start-up team to a top tier program in the last ten years, capturing two consecutive District 2 titles while finishing second and third in the state tournament the past two years.
This season both the boys and girls teams made it to the Final Four of the state playoffs. Coach Brown has been a big part of the transformation.
Brown, fences sabre at USFA veteran events, is part of a superb coaching group at Watchung Hills that includes Pavel (Paul) Kutelvas and Andrzej Zamlynny.
Brown credits his fellow coaches, the fencers and Watchung Hills administration for helping boost the fortunes of the team.
Zamlynny was on the Polish national team, and Kutelvas coached the Chinese national team in epee.
Watchung Hills is lucky to have them. They are professional coaches that provide valuable insights.
The success of the program has caught the attention of many of the top coaches and teams around the state.
Brown's sabre squads were a huge part of the teams’ success this season, especially on the boys side where the team captured a gold medal in the weapon at the Cetrulo.
The boys fencing team finished 3rd in the state. They lost in the semis of the state tournament but defeated Ramapo to claim 3rd.
The girls fencing team finished 4th in the state this year. They lost in the semis of the state tournament and then lost to Livingston to finish 4th.
Besides the teams having great years seven individual fencers competed in the individual state championships.
1. Greg Puccio finished 5th in Sabre
2. Coleman DeGeorges finished 13th in Sabre
3. Joe Cline finished 15th in Epee
4. Yash Srivastav finished 6th in Foil
1. Natalie Przybylski finished 6th in Sabre
2. Claudia Przybylski finished 6th in Epee
3. Fiona Fong finished 8th in Epee
All Skyland Conference Honors for both boys and girls were as follows:
1st Team Girls Epee – Fiona Fong and Claudia Przybyulski
1st Team Girls Sabre – Natalie Moszcynski
1st Team Boys Sabre – Greg Puccio and Cole DeGeorges
2nd Team Boys Sabre – Justin Srnatko
2nd Team Boys Foil – Yash Srivastav