This week USA Fencing released its selections for the 2019-2020 High School All-American Team. Four fencers from Cutting Edge Fencing were on the list - which is a great achievement for all of them.
Katherine Larimer of Colleyville Heritage High School in Colleyville, Texas; Sarah-Jane Calvert of Trinity High School in Euless, Texas; James "Bud" Green IV of Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas; and Tony "T3" Escueta, a homeschooled student in Grand Prairie, Texas were all named to the Second Team.
Their individual competitive achievements this season are worth noting including numerous Regional medals and finishing out the season at the top of the Regional point standings, as well as impressive finishes at national level competitions. The season was unfortunately cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, but when we return to competition some time next season, we're confident that their competitive excellence will continue. After all, they are still training very hard!
Why is this a big deal? Well on one level it's a nice feather in the cap of the competitive programs at CEFC and the hard work these kids have put in. It's another recognition of the kinds of high level competitive excellence that the SabreCats embody. But there is a deeper story here.
All four of these athletes embody the best values that we teach at CEFC and are an example of why fencing is such a great sport for kids. Each of them has their own unique story of what brought them to the sport and to Cutting Edge, but there are commonalities in what it has given them.
Fencing is a challenging, engaging sport that demands both physical and mental discipline. To succeed at the level of these young fencers, it requires extensive training to be able to perform the demanding athletic maneuvers. And it also requires the agility and composure to read and adapt to your opponent. As an individual sport, one must take ownership of one's own wins and losses - there is no way to hide when you're out there on the fencing strip.
But in order to really succeed, it truly requires a team mindset and the ability to work with other people!
High level training can be difficult and lonely without the sport of good people near you. You also need people to practice with who can challenge and push you, and are willing to go through the repetitions necessary. At CEFC, our Code of Honor and Rules of Training ensure that no one is every truly alone, and our drills and training elements incorporate partner and group work as much as possible.
And these four young fencers represent the best values of SabreCats. They help not just each other but all of the fencers in our club. Each of them have spent many hours practicing with the lowest level beginners, to help make them better. It's truly a team effort.
It's worth noting that each of these kids has also demonstrated academic excellence, including a rigorous schedule of Honors and Advance Placement courses, including 5's on some of the most challenging AP tests out there.
The coaching staff of CEFC salutes these young fencers and is very proud of each of them. We appreciate all that they have contributed to our club culture and how they embody the ideals of what it means to be a SabreCat!