MADISON, NJ - The Chatham High boys and girls fencing squads showed big improvement from a year ago at the Cetrulo and Santelli tournaments held over the weekend at Drew University.
The Chatham boys were 12th overall among the 49 teams competing in the Cetrulo Tournament. The Cougars placed eighth in the Sabre competition, 19th in Foils and 21st in Epee. A year ago, the Chatham boys were 37th as a team, 33rd in Sabre, 39th in Foils and 37th in Epee.
"These are very significant jumps in performance," Chatham fencing coach Jerry Duffey said. "The Cetrulo/Santelli Tournaments are the largest high school tournaments in the USA. With nearly 50 teams, each with 15 fencers, coaches, and 40 plus referees, there were about 800 people on the fencing floor on each day. many of them the best in the country. Every team is a system of systems and many changes from last year made our improvements possible."
The Lady Cougars made significant improvement as well in the year since the 2016 Santelli Tournament. In 2017, the girls team was 21st overall, 21st in Sabres, 22nd in Foils and 28th in Epee. A year ago, Chathan was 39th overall in the Santelli Tournament, finishing 30th in Sabre 29th in Foiles and 39th in Epee.
Duffey, the sabre coach, noted that the Chatham program has added Donald Satchell and Boris Paghiev as foil coaches to complement foil coach Jonathan Vanderhoof, and himself.
"Many of the fencers have been taking lessons in local fencing clubs since last season ended," Duffey said. "This school year the Chatham team started off with a five-week preseason clinic at Drew University, with head coach Vince Paragano. Getting a strong start to the preseason has really helped the team make the most of the official fencing season practice days."