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MetroSports Magazine

Frankie Williams Classic

High School Basketball at its Best

Aggressive Combat Championships ACC-20 NFL’s Jimmy Kennedy Comes Home

May-June 2019

ITTF World Championship Sheridan Fencing Academy


Contents

p. 16

May-June 2019

4 The Frankie Williams Classic Showcasing some of the best high school basketball players in the region 10 Aggressive Combat Championships ACC-20 New York’s premier amateur mixed martial arts promoter brings its show back to the County Center 16 Jimmy Kennedy - Made in Yonkers Nine-year NFL veteran and 2011 NY Giants Super Bowl defensive tackle takes his place next to his high school coach on the Wall of Fame 20 Leibherr World Table Tennis Championships Two NY Metro Region players compete on the world stage in Budapest, Hungary 24 Sheridan Fencing Academy’s 2019 Spring Fencetastic Ancient combat art is alive and well on Manhattan’s upper east side

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Train Like a Champion. Train with a Champion. MetroSports Magazine’s former Athlete of the Month and cover of our May-June 2015 issue, Keisher “Fire” McLeod, a former NY Golden Gloves Champion, current NYS Flyweight Champion and current WIBA World Flyweight Champion can now be your personal boxing trainer at the world famous Gleason’s Gym.

Let us put You on the cover of MetroSports send inquiries to warren@nyspg.com

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MetroSports Magazine (MSM) is published six times a year by the New York Sports Photo Group. MSM is available online and can be downloaded in electronic format for viewing on tablet and hand-held devices, laptop and desktop computers and purchased as full-color glossy print editions. Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Art Director: Warren Rosenberg Publisher: New York Sports Photo Group: nyspg.com Editorial Director / Sales: John Chuhran Director of Photography: Clark Thompson Social Media: Clark Thompson Photo Contributors: Clark Thompson, Warren Rosenberg Contributors: Leon Libin Advertising: For rate card contact warren@nyspg.com Please direct all inquiries to: warren@nyspg.com Visit us on the web at: MetroSportsMag.com

MetroSports Magazine accepts and welcomes photos, short articles, opinions and letters from our readers. There is no guarantee that unsolicited contributions will be published and MetroSports Magazine assumes no responsibility for failure to publish or for editing published contributions. The Contents of MetroSports Magazine consist of copyrightable and/or copyrighted material and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of the publishers. MetroSports Magazine | 3


The Frankie Williams Classic Rocks the Westchester County Center

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t is satisfying to watch something good grow and thrive. It is especially

satisfying to see it have a positive impact on a community. That has been the case with one of Westchester County’s top youth sporting events, the Frankie Williams Classic (FWC), a high school basketball tournament that has grown into a true community entertainment festival. This year, interest among participants and fans grew so much that the tourney organizers had to leave behind the gymnasium at Stepinac High School in White Plains and shift the event to a larger venue, the Westchester County Center, home of the WNBA’s New York Liberty and the NBA’s G-League Westchester Knicks. There was plenty of great basketball to watch. Named in honor of the late Frankie Williams, a long-time member and coach at Greenburg’s Theodore D. Young Community Center, this year’s 10th edition of the FWC was a showcase for the area’s best high school basketball players. The FWC is a charity event, this year raising funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research founded by Jim Valvano, the former coach at Iona College who won the 1983 NCAA Men’s National Basketball tournament with North Carolina State and later became a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC Sports. Valvano lost his life to cancer in 1993. Organized and run by Tournament Director Tom Sampogna and Associate Director Keith Guerra, the FWC triple header began with a Boy’s Regional Game followed by a Girls National Game

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and finishing with the Boys National Game. Prior to each game’s tip off, the national anthem was performed by three local celebrity singers -- recording artist Allison Pearle prior to the start of the Boys Regional Game, Mackenzie Mercer (who performed with both the Broadway and National Touring Company of “The Grinch” and “Cindy Lou Who”) before the Girls National Game, and Leila Rose Gross (who performed as young Anna in the Broadway production of Disney’s “Frozen”) prior to the Boys National Game.


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Alumni from the previous nine editions of the FWC who have gone on to professional basketball success and have included: * Lance Stephenson of the L.A. Lakers (out of Abraham Lincoln H.S. in Brooklyn, drafted in 2010 by the Indiana Pacers) * Kemba Walker of Charlotte Hornets (out of Harlem’s Rice H.S. and UCONN) * Russ Smith, playing professionally overseas in China (from Archbishop Molloy in Queens who played in the County Center against the Westchester Knicks in 2014 with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and in 2016-17 with the Delaware 87ers (now Delaware Blue Coats)) * Tobias Harris of Philadelphia 76ers (out of Half Hollow Hills H.S. in Dix Hills and Long Island Lutheran in Brookville, drafted 2011) * Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat (from The Patterson School, NC, drafted in 2010) * Kevin Jones playing professionally overseas (from Mt. Vernon H.S. and the University of West Vir ginia and who played in the NBA G-League who played with the Canton Charge in 2012 and Cleveland Cavaliers in 2012-13) * Kyle Anderson of Memphis Grizzlies (out of St Anthony’s in Jersey City, drafted 2014 by San Antonio Spurs) * Doron Lamb who played with the Orlando Magic in 2012-2014 and more recently with the Westchester Knicks ( born in Queens NY and played with Oak Hill Academy, drafted in 2012 by Milwaukee Bucks) * Maurice (Mo) Harkless with the Portland Trail Blazers (and played with St. Johns University, drafted by Philadelphia 76ers in 2012) During breaks in the action and between games, the crowd was entertained with music by three local DJs and in-game commentary by on-court MCs as well as there was a girls three-point shooting contest, a boys slam dunk contest, and a youth scrimmage game. The extra activities helped to elevate the event beyond a group of basketball games to an evening of broad entertainment.

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Above and Below: In-game running commentary and fan entertainment provided by on-court announcers and court-side DJs

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The girls 3-point shooting contest was won by Lauren Hansen, who is taking her skills to Auburn University. In addition to claiming the 3-point trophy, Lauren also won a pair of new high-end sneakers courtesy of Q4 Sports. Claiming the boys slam-dunk contest was Adrian Griffin Jr., of Stepinac high school and one of ESPN’s Top 75 in the class of 2020. Adrain dazzled the crowd when he jumped over his 6-foot-1 sister Aubrey, a basketball standout in her own right at Ossining High School who is headed to the University of Connecticut. The Griffins -- along with older brother, Alan -- have an impressive basketball pedigree; they are the children of NBA star Adrian Griffin, Sr., who had a 10-year career in the NBA playing with Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls. Eduard Minaya from Stepinac High School, play-

ing in the Boys Regional game, won the 2019 FWC Classic Sportsmanship Award. Ismael Massoud of MacDuffie Prep and headed to Wake Forest won the 2019 FWC Boys MVP award. Celeste Taylor from Long Island Lutheran and signed to the University of Texas to play college ball, won the 2019 Girls MVP award. This year’s FWC also featured its first overtime game. The Girls National contest was a hardfought, see-saw battle that came down to the closing seconds of the last quarter. The White Team held a narrow one-point advantage when Aubrey Griffin sank two foul shots to boost the margin to three. Kaelynn Satterfield of Christ the King High School and bound for Ohio State, launched a lastchance three-pointer which had nothing but net and fell cleanly through basket to end the game in an 89-89 tie.

Below: Ossining High School’s Aubrey Griffin, headed to UConn, with a proud coach Dan Ricci catching the action

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Aggressive Combat Championships ACC-20 “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” Ayn Rand

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peaking before the assembled crowd at the first annual New Hori|zon Scholarship Award Program of the Mexican American Chamber of Commerce of Yonkers, Daniel Ramirez, himself a product of the Yonkers Public School System, encouraged the students present by telling them “that anything is possible when you work hard and never give up.” Three weeks later, before a boisterous crowd at the Westchester County Center, Danny put his actions behind these words by capturing his fifth consecutive mixed martial arts (MMA) victory at the Aggressive Combat Championships ‘ACC-20’ event and running his undefeated MMA record to an impressive 5-0-0. Ramirez, fighting out of the Yonkers, NY, Tiger Schulmann’s studio and currently ranked 4th out of 254 amateur MMA bantamweights in the United States northeast region and 3rd in New York State, was one of the ten MMA fighters participating in what ACC-20 promoter and CEO Tom Kilkenny characterized as “the most challenging fight card in over 10 storied years of ACC.” The night had lots of excitement and the fans were treated to a great evening of fights that also featured performances by International hit recording artist Rockell, who sang our beautiful national anthem, and by Hip Hop legend Keith Murray of Def Squad.

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All Photos by Clark Thompson www.Clarkshots.com MetroSports Magazine | 11


The Westchester County Center has been home to a number of combat sports and exhibitions dating back to 1934 and including a weekly boxing show held on Tuesday nights that ran between 19381946. It was the site of the pro debut of WBA, WBC and NABF Champion boxer Maureen Shea in 2005 (featured in MSM, May-June 2015) and the location of the 12th consecutive win and IWBF Championship title fight of Ronica Jeffrey in 2013. Yonkers native and former WBO and USBA Middleweight Champion, Doug DeWitt, achieved 12 of his 33 career wins at the County Center which was also the site of an 8-round exhibition bout in 1972 between Muhammad Ali and Alonzo Johnson. WWWF wrestling champion Bruno Sammartino’s scored a 1964 win over Gorilla Monsoon and the WWWF’s successor, the WWE still holds professional wrestling events there. ACC-20 was the fourth time that Aggressive Combat Championships put on a UMMAF Kick International sanctioned bout at the County Center and the nineteenth time over all. Previous events at the County Center were held on September 22nd, 2018 (ACC-19), April 7th, 2018 (ACC-18) and November 11th, 2017 (ACC-17). Prior to promoting MMA events at the Westchester County Center, ACC events were held in Queens, NY, at the Queens The-

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ater, York College Arena, and Fitzgerald Center and, initially, in the Bronx at St.Raymond’s High School for ACC-1, ACC-2 and ACC-3, beginning in January 2013. Aggressive Combat Championships was founded by, and is co-owned by, Eugene Perez and Tom Kilkenny, both life-long martial arts practitioners. Eugene Perez has been involved in martial arts for his entire life as a Competitor, Instructor and Promoter in addition to refereeing 100’s of matches. He has worked with many organizations in various capacities over the years including Grapplers Quest where he was the Vice President of Operations, The Ultimate Fighting Championships @ UFC 100, Elite XC and The Fight Entourage and has helped promote shows all across the country. Tom Kilkenny has been training in the Martial Arts since he was 11 years old and holds a 2nd degree Black Belt ranking in Ju Jitsu and currently trains in Gracie Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai over the last 8 years. In his 30+ years of experience Tom has instructed, trained, managed and promoted with some of the best fighters in the Tri-State area. Some of those fighters have gone on to become the elite in the UFC/Bellator/ Pride etc. Tom’s vision for ACC has always been to give the amateur fighter the safest and most wellmatched fight with them being the star of the event!


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The fight card began with Colton Larkin taking on Giwiston Sanchez. The fight was called off by Sanchez’s corner in the 3rd round due to a possible eye poke giving the victory to Larkin by TKO. Sanchez, who fought a smart fight, was actually ahead on the judges score card at the time of the stoppage. In the second fight, Josh Hardy squared off against Donavan Levi with Levi emerging victorious, submitting Hardy via Triangle in the first round. Because of the win, Levi will face Justin Muslija on September 21st for the 145lb ACC Title back at the Westchester County Center. The third fight of the evening pitted Colin Skelly against Andre Miller. In a hard fought contest that went the distance, Skelly was declared the winner by unanimous decision. In what turned out to be The Fight of the Night, Nate Cruz faced off against JP Ponce in the second fight of the evening to go the distance. Ponce was declared the winner by unanimous decision.

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This night of great MMA fighting drew to close with the undefated Daniel Ramirez going into battle against Kody Murray for the ACC Bantamweight Title. Ramirez demonstrated why he is, and remains, undefeated by submitting Murray via Rear Naked Choke in the first round, bringing his MMA record to 5-0-0, and being declared the ACC’s Bantamweight Champion. The ACC is back in action at the Westchester County Center on September 21st for ACC-21 which will include 4 Title fights and over 12 Match-Ups. Aggressive Combat Championship owners Tom Kilkenny and Eugene Perez, along with event partners Sal Abbatiello of Fever Records and Al Ciuffetelli of Homestyle Entertainment, would like to thank all the Fighters and Fans for continuing to keep Aggressive Combat Championship the #1 stop for amateur MMA in NY!


Ramirez, who was promoted to Sensei last November within the Tiger Schulmann system, began his martial arts training as “a tough kid from a good family in a not-so-nice neighborhood…There wasn’t anything asked of Danny that he wouldn’t put his mind to in order to get it done – whether at the school, on the mat, or in the ring” according to a November 15, 2018 press release from Tiger Schulmann’s Yonkers location.

“Born and raised in Mexico. Grew up in YONKERS! The best town in NY. Schooled at Enrico Fermi for elementary, Mark Twain for middle school and Gorton for HS; the best days of my life, so thankful for my teachers.”

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Jimmy Kennedy Made in Yonkers

Against the Odds Yonkers football star Jimmy Kennedy added to Wall of Fame at Roosevelt High School by John Chuhran Sometimes the relationships that are formed during high school are the most enduring. For more than half a century, Tony DeMatteo has walked the sidelines of the high school football fields of New York. Over that time, he has become a coaching legend whose 347 career wins rank second among all coaches in state history. While the games may blur together, the relationships with his players remain strong. Few are as meaningful as the bond he shares with Jimmy “Grizz“ Kennedy.

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In June, Kennedy was added to the “Wall of Fame” at Roosevelt High School Early College Studies in Yonkers. His new plaque has been mounted alongside that of DeMatteo, who won the first 208 of his games while coaching at Roosevelt. Kennedy played for Coach DeMatteo and was a crucial part of the Roosevelt team that won the 1996 New York State High School Football Championship. DeMatteo, who now coaches at Somers High where he earned the 2016 State Class A championship and has logged another 139 wins entering 2019, would not have missed the chance to honor his friend and former student player. “Jimmy is my greatest accomplishment -- as a coach, and as a human being,” said DeMatteo, who fought back tears as he spoke before

the assembled crowd in the library of RHS-ECS which included his parents, wife and children, Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada, School Board President Reverend Steve Lopez, RHS-ECS Principal Edward DeChent and the student of teacher Marc Roennau’s Business and Media Studies program. “Jimmy came out for football in the ninth grade, and quit. But he was in my gym class. I have never recruited anyone to play football for me in 50 years better than Jimmy Kennedy because I wasn’t going to let a 6-foot-5, 300-pound ninth grader slip through my fingers.” It was not easy. Kennedy had been assigned to a special education program and DeMatteo had to fight bureaucratic resistance to get the teenager assigned to mainstream classes that made him eligible to play varsity football.

Below: Nine-year NFL veteran Jimmy Kennedy poses with his family and former high school coach, Tony DeMatteo

All Photos Credit: Warren Rosenberg www.nyspg.com

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Once on the field, Kennedy excelled. DeMatteo and his staff spent extra time with the youngster and he put in the work to master the techniques that enabled the Roosevelt running game to dominate. DeMatteo also made sure that Kennedy worked hard with the tutors he had arranged so that his academic performance was good enough to earn his diploma. College coaches soon began to romance Kennedy to try to get him to sign a letter of intent, but DeMatteo was protective of his young star. “In his junior year, Jimmy was recruited by schools all over the country,” DeMatteo said, “and it came down to Penn State. And I wouldn’t let him sign until Joe Paterno flew up here to meet in my office with Jimmy and his dad. I asked Joe, ‘how are you going to get this guy a degree?’ “ DeMatteo said that Paterno smiled and explained that his wife was a former professor. She would tutor Jimmy on weekends. “Jimmy graduated Penn State with a 3.4 index,” DeMatteo said with great pride.

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Using the skills that DeMatteo had taught and Paterno had refined, Kennedy went on to have a nine-year professional career in the NFL spending time with the Rams, Broncos, Bears, Jaguars, Vikings before ending his pro career by winning a Super Bowl championship with the 2011 New York Giants. That joy was tempered with the revelation that health problems have plagued Kennedy since he retired from football. Only the toughness instilled by the game, the education he gained along the way and the support of friends -- like DeMatteo -- and family enabled him to make it through. Kennedy clearly recognizes how DeMatteo and other educators at Roosevelt High had changed his life. He made sure to mention it to those in attendance at the induction ceremony. “You guys are what shaped me and I appreciate you honoring me and I accept it. I wouldn’t have done any of it without you being in my corner,” said Kennedy, whose voiced cracked as he, too, strug-


gled with his emotions. “But it’s kind of hard to accept something that’s not complete. This is just a game, and life is more than a game. “I know what it’s like to play the game that I love, win the Super Bowl, and find out my heart won’t stop beating fast. I know what it’s like to have a doctor tell me, ‘hey, you’re in A-Fib (atrial fibrillation)’, and not want to tell my family and my friends because I’m sick. I know what it’s like to be retired for seven years right now and have eight heart surgeries. “I know what it’s like being 305 pounds and wake up 444 pounds and hearing them say…’you have lymphedema and you’re just gaining weight. And I know what it’s like to not want to have this man [pointing to DeMatteo], who had my back, throughout my life, hear the pain in my voice. “I know what it’s like to wake up this year, and have my wife standing over me, and not want to tell my son that under my last surgery, they kept screaming ‘Code Blue’. At 39 years old. I can’t

wait to close this chapter and hit 40. “I appreciate you guys honoring me, but moments like this become great because of who you guys are. It’s not because of the game. It’s not about football. It’s about being the best you can be. ”

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Liebherr ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Two N.Y. Metro Region Players Compete on the World Stage in Budapest by Leon Libin

The 2019 LIEBHERR ITTF Individual World Table Tennis Championships took place in Budapest, Hungary, on April 21-28, 2019. Teams from 99 nations participated in this, the most important and representative table tennis competition of the year. Among the world-class players competing on this international stage were seven American athletes, two of whom hail from the New York Metro Region, Amy Wang and Yue “Jennifer” Wu. Amy lives in Sewell, NJ, and trains at the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center. Yue also lives in nearby New Jersey but trains in New York City and the New York Indoor Sports Club. Joining them on the U.S. team were Lily Zhang, Kanak Jha, Nikhil Kumar, Victor Liu and Nicholas Tio, all California residents. Also present on the U.S. delegation but not competing was Crystal Wang. New York Metro area’s Amy Wang, the youngest of the U.S. women players started her championship quest competing in the preliminary group first going up against Mounita Alam of Bangladesh and defeating her by 4:0. She next faced and Ruta Paskaukiene of Photography by Leon Libin

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Lithuania, who since 1994 has won several medals in singles and doubles events on the European Table Tennis Championships circuit and, again, prevailing by the score of 4:0. This secured her 1st place in her group and advanced her to the Round of 128 knock-out stage in the main draw of the Woman’s Singles Championship. There, the draw matched her with one of leading women table tennis players in the world, Tianwei Feng of Singapore, ranked #9 in the world. Amy was able to win two games but ultimately lost the match by a score of 2:4.

The NY Metro Region’s Yue Wu also took part in doubles matches, paired with Californian Lily Zhang, starting from the Round of 64 in against Tetiana Bilenko 22 | May-June 2019

and Ganna Gaponova of Ukraine with the Americans prevailing, 4:1. In the next Round of 32 the pair team played against Yousra Helmy and Dina Meshref of Egypt and lost the match - 2:4. In a male/female pairing of mixed doubles, Kanak Jha and Yue Wu competed in Mixed Doubles Championship in Round of 64 against Natalia Partyka and DYJAS Dyjas of Poland 4:2 and then, in the Round of 32, against Szandra Pergel and Adam Szudi of host country Hungary, going down in defeat - 0:4. A separate mixed doubles championship premininary Round 1 match, Lily Zhang was paired with Nikhil Kumar against number 1 seeds Ning Ding and Zhendong Fan from China, losing 0:3.


In Men’s Singles Championship, Kanak Jha after his victory over Mihai Bobocai of Italy in the Round of 128, met with #11 seed and 3-time consecutive Men’s Singles World Champion, the legendary Long Ma of China. The Dragon, as journalists and some players call him, met some serious resistance from this young American player, who was able to defeat him in their first game -11:8. Ma changed tactics in the following four games and took victory in the match - 4:1. Nevertheless, Kanak Jha made a very solid statement about his table tennis abilities on the world stage. Another successful performance was provide by Victor Liu who, in his Group of 40, defeated Kanate Ali of Cote d’Ivoire - 4:0 and Segun Toriola, a Nigerian Olympian and one of the top African players since 1995, 4:1 before losing in the Main Draw Round to Masataka Morizono of Japan - 0:4. In Men’s Doubles Championship Kanak Jha and Victor Liu had a bye in the Preliminary Round 1 and met Owen Cathcart of Ireland and Borgar Haug

of Norway in the Preliminary Round 2, prevailing - 3:0. This victory advanced them into the Main Draw and they played against Mohamed El-Belali and Ahmed Saleh of Egypt in the Round of 64. The dramatic match with rises and falls ended in favor of Egyptian athletes - 4:3. Nicholas Tio and Nikhil Kumar met Jorge Campos and Andy Pereira of Cuba in the Preliminary Round 1, winning - 3:2 before being defeated in Round 2 by You Song Ham and Kwang Myong Ri of North Korea - 0:3. Apparently, the performance US Table Tennis athletes has been successful with five of our table tennis players advancing through the Main Draw and two of our New York/ New Jersey Region representatives, Yue Wu and Amy Wang are among them! Congratulations!

Facing Page: Amy Wang. (Photo credit Leon Libin) Below: Wu Yue (left) and Kanak Jha (right) in doubles match (Photo credit Leon Libin)

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Sheridan Fencing Academy 2019 Spring Fencetastic Modern Gladiators of an Ancient Sport on NYC’s Upper East Side

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houts of “En Garde” echoed off the walls of the glass-fronted studio on Manhattan’s upper eastside as 20 students of the Sheridan Fencing Academy competed against each other at the 2019 Spring Fencetastic Festival. Young sabreurs and sabreuses (male and female saber competitors, respectively) from Sheridan’s three locations in Manhattan, White Plains and Forest Hills came together to test their skills and challenge each other in this ancient sport. Sheridan Fencing Academy was established in 2007 and now trains approximately 250 fencers. On this day, a fencer from White Plains, Jordan Davis, prevailed as the Fencetastic’s Gold Medalist. An Olympic sport since the inaugural games in 1896, and one of only four sports that have been a part of every Olympics thereafter, the art of fencing can trace its history back to ancient Egypt where, over 3,200 years ago during the reign of Ramses III, the art of swordsmanship was depicted in artwork on the walls of the Temple of Medinat Habu near the city of Luxor. Comparable to the traditional martial arts, the sport of fencing also involves focus on both your will and your opponent. Both rely on participants vying to control distance and being powerful with quick and strong reactions. As a physical sport, fencing helps develop elements of physical fitness that include a significant amount of lower body and core strength, aerobic fitness, heightened coordination and faster reaction time.

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Two years before its introduction as an Olympic sport, American colleges and universities began holding intercollegiate fencing competitions under the auspices of the Intercollegiate Fencing Association (IFA). Still in operation, the IFA has 12 member schools including Metro region schools Columbian, NYU, and Princeton. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), has 26 colleges and universities competing in Division I and 19 at the Division II and III levels. Competing in the NCAA are Metro region teams from City College, Columbia, Hunter College, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU, NJIT, Princeton, Sacred Heart, St. John’s, Vassar, Wagner, Yale and Yeshiva University. Forty-five college and university teams comprise the United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs (USACFC) including Metro region schools Rutgers, SUNY Stony Brook, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Fencers from the Sheridan Fencing Academy have gone on to capture NCAA, National and World Championships including Louis Montorio, the 2018 U.S. National Champion and head coach of Sheridan’s White Plains location and Adrienne Jarocki who is the 2014 and 2016 NCAA Women’s National Champion competing for Harvard and who was also the 2012 Junior Olympic Champion and 2013 Junior World Champion. In addition World Team member Riya Dave and UK World Team member Aliya Itzkowitz are also Sheridan alumni. As is Montorio, the Sheridan Fencing Academy’s other coaches are also accomplished fencers including Laura Decker, one of the top fencing referees in the country. Laura graduated from Caltech, where she was the first female fencer to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Along with coaching and refereeing, Laura continues to

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compete nationally in sabre and is a former North American Cup winner. Mihail Etropolski has been coaching fencers for over 10 years, working with beginners to National finalists. As a competitor, he has represented the US at numerous World Cups and at the 2010 Pan American Championships. Mihail is part of an impressive fencing legacy: his father is the 1983 World Champion and his uncle, the 1985 silver medalist. Sheridan Fencing Academy founder Jason Sheridan is the first American-born coach in history to train a World Champion in sabre. As noted earlier, he has developed many of the top fencers in the US, including the 2018 National Champion, 2016 & 2014 NCAA Champion, 2013 Junior World Champion and silver medalist, and the 2012 Junior Olympic Champion. He is also the only American to complete the prestigious fencing masters program at the Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Poland. He spent several years there training and studying with legendary fencing coach Zbigniew Czajkowski, helping him write books and papers on fencing and coaching. Jason adopted Professor Czajkowski’s unique coaching innovations as the foundation of the Sheridan Fencing program.

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Above: Spring Fencetastic Gold Medalist, Jordan Davis (black shorts, blue shoes) duels her way to victory. Below: Davis receiving a high five from Jason Sheridan (left) and wearing her gold and a smile (right)

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MetroSports Magazine May-June 2019 Sheridan Fencing Cover