BASKING RIDGE, NJ - This year, under the tutelage of coach Jason Choy, the Ridge High School sabre squad was able to put all the pieces together: Speed, strength and technique.
Ridge confidently put freshman Casper Mika on the A strip knowing that his technique would stand up to the best in the state even at his young age. Casper won 11 of 19 bouts. Senior Daniel McCarthy won 11 of 14 bouts on the C strip. His speed has been his strength through the years and it was on display. Senior Matt Stamatiou also contributed on C strip, going 5 for 5.
The standout of the day was Andy McGowan fencing on the B strip. McGowan won 19 of 19 bouts.
At the end of the day Ridge had won 81 percen of its bouts, 46 victories out of a possible 57, with +98 indicators. This captured the Gold Medal for the first time in school history. They are the Sabre Squad champions. The second place went to Northern Highlands with 41 victories, +100 indicators. Third place went to St Peter’s Prep with 41 victories, + 80 indicators.
Ridge’s foil squad looked to defend it title as last years Foil Champions. Ridge has traditionally had very strong foil fencers and this year was no different. With their top foilist out of state, Ridge confidently sent in the L squad: James Liao on A, Eric Liu on B and Ericson Lac on C. L is for lethal. With calm surgical precision, this squad dissected their opponent’s weaknesses and deftly picked them apart. Sophomores Liao and Liu both won 17 of 19 bouts, Lac was 16 of 19.
In total the foil squad won 50 out of a possible 57. Claiming victory in an astonishing 88% of their bouts, outscoring their opponents by +141 touches. For the second year in a row they are the foil State Champions. Second place went to Christian Brothers with 43 victories, +95 indicators. Third place went to Bernards, with 38 victories, +67 indicators.
Ridge’s epee squad was looking to improve on its eigth-place finish of last year. Sophomore Clark Kokenge on A was 12 for 19. Junior Anton Groshnikov was 13 of 19 on B. Young Allen Marakov, a freshman, was 14 of 18 on C. Senior Charlie King added an additional victory on C. At the end of a very long day of fencing, Ridge found itself in an unbelievable three way tie for second place. In the case of a tie it all comes down to indicators, by how much did you outscore your opponents.
Bernards took home the gold with 45 victories, +110 indicators. Christian Brothers second with 40 victories, +76. Montclair claimed third with 40 victories, +68. Ridge placed 4th with 40 victories, +53 indicators.