Lady Sabers Prevail in Season Opener
In what is quickly becoming a tradition in the North Carolina High School Fencing League’s (NCHSFL), Salem Academy found themselves hosting the season opener on Saturday, November 3rd. Since Elkin High School and Millennium Charter School were unable to field teams for this meet, it was expected to be a relatively short event, but the day turned into a test of stamina when two new teams showed up to participate. Page High School from Greensboro and Forsyth Country Day stepped in to fill the void. It will be interesting to see how rest of the season pans out when the Elkin and Millennium teams are added to the mix. In any case, the Sabers will be ready to challenge all comers.
The first meet of the season saw returning fencers Mackenzie Wiles, Praise Idika, and Julia Zhou fill out the varsity squad (A-Team), which dominated for the day going undefeated without subs. The only real challenge came from cross-town rivals, R.J. Reynolds High School, who pushed the match to all nine bouts with the Salem girls taking the victory 5-4! The other matches finished 5-0 over Page and 5-1 vs Bishop McGuinness. The outstanding A-Team fencer for the day was Praise Idika, who went undefeated at 7-0. With the girls finishing with 50% victories or higher, the day couldn’t have gone better. Mackenzie Wiles, 3-3 for the day, and Julia Zhou, 4-2 on the day, contributed to the team average of beating their opponents 3-1. Simply outstanding!
Not to be cast in the shadows, the Salem B team performed well in their own right by placing 3rd in a group of five coed teams. The B Team, led by veteran Catherine Davila, tied for 3rd on victories but edged out Page’s B side on indicators (touches scored – touches received). With exception of Catherine, who split 3-3, the B Team members only picked up a foil for the first time on October 16th. With just seven practices under their belt, the new fencers did very well. All new fencers scored victories their first time in competition. Grace Jeon and Mira Fitch both went 2-4 on the day, and Margot Burke posted a superb 5-2 record in her first meet. All of these young ladies have an excellent fencing future ahead of them. While Catherine not only posted needed victories, she also provided team leadership, side strip coaching and mentoring throughout the day. Well done to both teams. The next meet will be December 1st on the road with the location to be announced soon.