Byzantines Trample Vikings, 45-10
On Friday, April 7, the Salem Homeschool Byzantines went after the North Salem High School Vikings in their second meeting of the season. Fencing for the Byzantines were Gary Girod (captain), Charles Allen, Joshua Keatley, and Alex Kohan. Representing the Vikings were Travis Neidig (captain), Ariana Dunning, and Kris Lancaster.
In the 45-point relay match (score is cumulative), the results were as
1. Allen vs. Lancaster: 5-0 bout, 5-0 match
2. Keatley vs. Neidig: 5-2 bout, 10-2 match
3. Girod vs. Dunning: 4-0 bout, 14-2 match
4. Keatley vs. Lancaster: 6-1 bout, 20-3 match
5. Allen vs. Dunning: 5-1 bout, 25-4 match
6. Girod vs. Neidig: 5-3 bout, 30-7 match
7. Keatley vs. Dunning: 5-2 bout, 35-9 match
Alex Kohan substituted for Gary Girod
8. Kohan vs. Lancaster: 3-0 bout, 38-9 match
9. Allen vs. Neidig: 7-1 bout, 45-10 match
Final score, 45-10, victory for the Salem Homeschool Byzantines.
This was the second time that the Vikings and the Byzantines met. While the score was similar to the previous match in November (42-13), both teams fenced better this time around. Training and experience make all the difference in fencing, as in many endeavors. North Salem continues to be handicapped by a small team (only three fencers), as well as by inexperience.
The homeschoolers wisely chose to conserve their energy and concentrate heavily on improving their skills. They knew coming into the match that they had a strong advantage over North. The Byzantines were much calmer this time, and that experience alone will be valuable for them in future matches.
The Vikings never really got going. They never led, nor did they ever outscore the homeschoolers. There were two bouts in which they forced the Byzantines to use the entire three minutes, though. Despite the lopsided score, the Vikings still tried, while maintaining good sportsmanship. Except for Ariana Dunning, who is a senior this year, they will be back next year with incoming freshman fencers. This team will only get better.
On the attack, Charles Allen led the Byzantines with 17 points, a personal best. Allen also had a perfect 5-0 bout. Right behind him was Joshua Keatley with 16 points, a tie of his personal best. Gary Girod scored 9 points in his two bouts, and Alex Kohan had three points in his one bout as a substitute for Girod.
Travis Neidig was the offensive leader for the Vikings with six points. Arianna Dunning, who is usually quite aggressive, had a low-scoring night with three points, followed by Kris Lancaster with one point.
The Byzantine defenses were universally solid. Kohan wasn't touched in his one bout. Allen was only his twice in three bouts, another personal best. Girod gave up only three points in his two bouts. And Joshua Keatley only gave up five points -- a personal best.
The Vikings defensive statistics tell the story all too clearly. The red and black just seemed to have magnets in their fencing jackets that drew touches whenever the Byzantine blades got close to them. Dunning and Lancaster both were hit 14 times, and Neidig was touched 17 times.
Their victory puts the Salem Homeschoolers back in first position for the season at 4-1 and an average of 19.8 touches received per match. In second position are the West Salem High School Titans at 4-1 with an average of 29.8 touches received per match. The Blanchet Cavaliers are in third position at 2-3, with the North Salem Vikings in fourth at 0-5.
Please join us Friday, April 21 at Salem Classical Fencing at 7:30 p.m. for our next high school fencing match.
And mark Saturday, May 6 on your calendar so you don't miss the Salem High School Fencing League Championships (individual and team) at Blanchet Catholic School.