Inside The North High Fencing Team’s Perfect Season

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The Great Neck North High School varsity girls fencing team (Photo courtesy of the Great Neck Public Schools)

The Great Neck North High School winter sports season has come to an end. The girls varsity fencing team, led by head coach Michael Calderero, had a perfect season, going 6-0 with the help of every teammate.

It was a combined effort from each individual as they all worked together with one another. Before heading into the season, many of the players were nervous since the team had a solid group of seniors starters that had graduated, so for that reason they weren’t sure if the underclassmen were able to skillfully fence in the meets. Junior Molly Sherry said the team “ended up winning the majority of our bouts and many people on the team qualified for individuals and county awards.” 

Throughout their season, the team has improved because of their coaches. Both Calderaro and Healy were supportive, and taught the team the necessary techniques to win their bouts. 

Before the season started, the returning players needed to step up and come out strong, similar to the seniors from last year. 

“Because a lot of seniors left last year, many players had to work hard to fill their spots,” sophomore Eden Fouladi said.

During each practice and game, everyone worked hard and challenged everyone else. At each practice and each game, each individual aimed to do their best, especially since some of their meets ended up coming down to the last individual bout. Everyday at practice, the athletes with more experience in fencing would work on helping their teammates on improving their skills. This season, the team has created a family on and off the court for about three months together. 

“I feel our team has grown close through laughs and because we are a tight knit team that are able to cheer and support each other during matches, which plays a huge role in many of our wins,” junior Vicky Varkonyi said. 

The last few meets against Oyster Bay and Jericho were really close bouts (14-13) because they were fencing the top teams in their county. 

“They were both quite a big deal since winning them bumped us up to second in the county,” Sherry said. “At that moment, we were feeling extremely anxious and nervous.” 

Nikki Kobrick was the make or break for both games, and she won both. It was a really happy time and all the teammates were so proud of her. Additionally, they were quite close matches coming all the way down to the last points of the last bout, putting a lot of pressure on the last fencer the team played. 

“It’s kind of crazy the entire game can fall on the shoulders of one fencer and even one touch at the very end,” senior Kathleen Katchis said. 

Abigail Rabbany is a senior at Great Neck North High School who is passionate about sports.

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