Sports

Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week: Darren Yen

df3a6bec02aab1462b04_a0a4ab9d6d7980b22a43_3f13e365794ffb22af07_DYen_sabre-3.jpg
Fencer Darren Yen is the Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week Credits: Glenn Clark
6eaacfb1f370a15916d1_63db08c9684352c72fe5_DarenYen.JPG
CHS sophomore Darren Yen is the Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week Credits: TAP Chatham
9b89a69ba8950766c159_744a526161643005e0f1_GK052716-497.jpg
Darren Yen also plays classical piano. Here he performs at Carnegie Hall
d0d14d4323affeb0e413_f3a2deff35afb09578fa_image1__1_.jpg
Darren Yen after winning the Morris County Tournament's individual Sabre title
df3a6bec02aab1462b04_a0a4ab9d6d7980b22a43_3f13e365794ffb22af07_DYen_sabre-3.jpg

CHATHAM, NJ - When Darren Yen takes his place on the fencing strip, he's hoping his mind works as fast as his body.

"You can be very fast and physically fit, but if you can't trick your opponent, it's kind of pointless," Yen said. "The style in sabre is a lot faster (than epee or foil) and you have to make decisions right off the bat. There is a lot more strategic thinking. You really have to plan out everything."

The Chatham High sophomore has been thinking and reacting successfully with his sabre weapon this season, helping the Cougars win the sabre team title and taking the individual championship at the Morris County Tournament held Jan. 7 at Randolph High.

Sign Up for E-News

Darren Yen is the Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week.

Chatham started its fencing program in 2010 and is gaining momentum in the sport with its boys and girls teams this season. Leading the way in name recognition has been Yen, who has earned a USA Fencing "C" rating.

"Most high school fencers are not rated at all," Jerry Duffey, Chatham sabre coach, said. "He earned his 'C,' skipping over 'D,' during last year's season. The ratings are not linear in their ability level, more like exponential.

"It is a pleasure to have him on the team. He contributes his time and knowledge to the sabre squad and the whole team, teaching and working with the other members. He really loves fencing and it is very impressive to watch him fence against opponents at his level. Darren is currently undefeated in the NJAC as the A-strip sabre."

The 15-year-old Yen has been fencing since he was in sixth grade, and he does most of his training with coach Al Girof at the Integrity Fencing Studio in Chatham. It just so happens that his main sabre competition in Morris County comes from R.J. Guzman of Mendham, who also trains with Yen at the Chatham studio.

The Morris County Tournament sabre championship came down to Yen vs. Guzman.

"I was kind of shaking and thinking 'What am I going to do?' because he knows me so well," Yen said. "It's like rock, paper, scissors, it's a mind game really, and he knows it. When he's beaten me, he tells me after that I fell for the trap."

In sabre, it's faster paced because there are no breaks. Under the high school rules, the first one to five touches wins. Yen went back-and-forth with Guzman before winning the title, 5-4.

"My style is to welcome the attack first and make them miss," Yen said. "It's sort of like chess. You sacrifice the first piece to get an advantage."

A high-achieving student, Yen also finds time to play classical piano in his spare time, entering competitions and even performing at Carnegie Hall.

In his first year of fencing at Chatham last year, Yen placed fourth at the districts in the sabre and 16th at the individual state tournament.

At the prestigious Cetrulo Tournament, with nearly 40 teams competing at Drew University last weekend, Yen went 5-2, then 2-5 in the second pool. According to Duffey, the second pool included older fencers "who are already members of the Junior National Team and ranked in the top 15 junior fencers in the nation." 

"The only complaint I have heard from him in the last two seasons has been, 'Coach, aren't we going to fence some more?' Which is what every coach wants to hear from his team members," Duffey said. 

Editor's note: The Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week is sponsored by the John Hawk Agency. John and his team have been protecting local families and business owners for over 12 years. Call them at  973-635-9494 for a new auto, home, life and business insurance quote this week and if you mention the Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week they will make a $20 contribution to the Chatham Booster Club! To learn more, visit the agency website

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Chatham

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, June 18 – Sunday, June 24, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend

PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

By Galina Natenzon

This week we are wrapping up our first session of ESL classes.  Stay tuned, we are planning a fall session to start in September.  New students are welcome to enroll!  This is the last week of calm and quiet at the library before our summer reading ...

Angie's Owners Want to Thank Their Chatham Customers

June 14, 2018

To the Editor:

We want to thank our customers and the entire community for their support and devotion to our business. Our last day of business will be July 31.

rWe will miss all the friends that we have developed over the past 26 years. Wishing everyone much success and happiness in the future.

Sincerely,

Louiza and Jimmy Poulimenos

P.S. "Until we meet ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

Chatham Students Graduate from Gettysburg College

June 18, 2018

GETTYSBURG, PA - Of the 608 students who graduated from Gettysburg College on May 20, 2018, the following were Chatham students: Danielle Boyland, Kaitlyn Helmstetter, Nicholas Hill, Andrew Milone and Jacob Zeliff.

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...