March madness is just around the corner! But, February, in the sport fencing world, was packed…
ACC Fencing Championships
I haven’t been so excited about a championship event in my life ever. The expansion of the ACC to include teams outside of the Atlantic Coast has meant something good for fencing. Namely, the return of the ACC Fencing Championships after a 34 year hiatus. It excites me that Mid-South contributed fencers and spectators to this first event. I was surprised at how much this event inspired me personally as a coach to produce quality athletes into this field of competition for future championships. Will Mid-South will have an ACC Champion (or two) spawn from our club? I hope so!
Super Youth Events
Youth fencing wasn’t really a thing when I was growing up but over the last 10 years with help of many volunteers, dedicated coaches, clubs, and parents, youth fencing’s growth has transformed rapidly. Mid-South first started bringing competitors to the Capitol Clash in 2011 and within five years of this tournament’s inception, it has grown to be the largest youth event in the world. This year Mid-South sent 12 participants, five were newbies to the sport of competition outside of our club. We came home motivated, feeling strong, earned some national points and one 3rd place finish in the Y12 Saber event. Congratulations Team!
Within the same week four of our youth fencers turned around and headed back up the I-85 corridor to fence the Junior Olympics in Richmond, VA. This event always has new folks who don’t usually fence national events but are honored because they qualified though their Division qualifying events. Their participation sure can mess up some of the regular national circuit participant’s days. This event can be inspiring or frustrating, depending on the fencers’ outlook and experience level. Mid-South qualified four young fencers this year and shared one qualification with the Chapel Hill Fencing Club. Dylan, Leo, Sky, Leanne and Molly all fenced well, helping the coaches to feel proud.
February ends and March begins with the Reno NAC. Veteran marauders Carl Badger and James Dobbins head out to represent our club. Both have sustained competitiveness on the national level and have been known to fluster up the rankings for national team members. Carl’s best finish in the Vet-50 Men’s Sabre was 6th place, NAC 2013 (Dallas, TX) and James Dobbins has two national medals in the Vet-50 Men’s Sabre, 3rd place, NAC (Detroit, 2011) and Vet-50 Men’s Sabre, 7th place, NAC (Dallas, 2014). We wish them good luck and happy pillaging!
Bringing it Home
March marks two major events for Mid-South, our 7th Annual Grand Open and the 3rd Annual Ned Light RYC. The Grand Open will feature a gala style finals with a Durhamite touch of having a food truck and beer truck in close quarters. We still miss Coach Ned Light, but his spirit remains close to the heart of Mid-South’s mission and vision. We hope you will join us March 28th and 29th for the Ned Light event and March 14th for our gala celebration. Stay tuned to our social media outlets for daily updates on our community and ways you can join the fun.