This morning’s article,”Record Number of MHS Seniors to Play College Sports” compelled me to tell the community about a sport at MHS that gets no press, but has three exceptional young women continuing their sport at top US colleges next fall: Nifer Fasman will fence sabre for MIT, Kira Hoffman will fence epee for Tufts and Charlotte Ohl will fence foil for Northwestern.
These three young women captained their squads this year to a winning season without fanfare or public attention. They selflessly and attentively spent hours of their time working with freshman and sophomore teammates to share their knowledge of the sport and their weapons with only one goal in mind: making a stronger team.
As they have been friends since Chatsworth second grade and working together on the fencing team since entering MHS, I believe they fit into both Ms. Suman’s and Mr. Chiapparelli’s model of long-standing friendships and “playing together for many years and that this consistency has contributed in large part to their success.”
Fencing is the most rapidly growing sport in the US. Coach “Doc” Calvert Schlick teaches all three weapons to both girls and boys teams and he is, quite simply, the best coach I have encountered in my eight years at MHS.
Fencing is very misunderstood at MHS. The majority of the student population thinks “movie” fencing when in reality it is a demandingly physical and mentally challenging sport. If you watched the Beijing Olympics this summer, you witnessed US fencing history with the greatest haul of medals the US team has ever achieved.
Fencing shares the lack of playing space issue that many teams at MHS experience. As MHS is the only public high school in Westchester that fields a team, the MHS team travels at least an hour to meets, playing mostly private schools in Rockland County. They had only two home contests this season due to lack of space.
I invite parents to encourage their students to join the team. No experience necessary and great coaching! The MHS team maintains the highest GPA of any team at MHS, and is a tightknit group that works hard to succeed together.
Congratulations again to Nifer, Kira and Charlotte!
Irene Byrne Ohl