Friday, 24 February 2012 00:00
The Nassau County Coaches Association selected Coach John Bruckner as the Boys Nassau County Coach of the Year. This distinction is earned for more than just racking up wins. Coach Bruckner instills pride, sportsmanship and a solid work ethic in the fencers of Oyster Bay High School. Not only did he lead his Boys Fencing Team to become Nassau County Champions, but his boys and girls teams both earned Scholar / Athlete Team Awards.
Every season the academic averages of all varsity sports teams are taken collectively, and each team with an average that’s greater than 90 percent is honored with the Scholar/Athlete Team distinction by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA). For the 2011-2012 season, eight of the nine varsity teams had an average GPA of 90 percent or greater. The Girls’ Fencing Team led the pack with an impressive team academic average of 97.321 percent. The Boys Fencing Team was a close second with a team academic average of 96.571 percent.Another indication of great coaching is seen when players from your team are honored with sportsmanship awards. For the third year in a row, a member of the Girls’ Fencing Team was chosen for the Fencer’s Fencer honor. This award is selected by the fencers themselves from across the county. Only one boy and one girl are selected each year. The Fencer’s Fencer is a good fencer and someone who other fencers would want on their team. Gabriele Kaplan won the award in 2008. Courtney Collins won in 2010. Last year, LeeAnn Dillman took home the honor. This year, Jillian Murray won the Nassau County Fencer’s Fencer award.
The last boy to win the Fencer’s Fencer award was Coach Bruckner’s son, John Bruckner, in 2002.
Ultimately, the Nassau County Championship is won in competition and cannot be achieved without exceptional athletes. With 14 fencers earning All-County status from the OBHS Boys and Girls teams, it takes someone who exhibits greatness to stand out. OBHS senior Jack Greenfield is just such an athlete. Jack was selected as an All-Long Island Fencer for a staggering fourth year in a row. Jack’s performance broke a tie to win the Nassau County Championship. Jack has already been accepted to MIT in Boston where he will attend in September.
The 2011-2012 Boys All-County winners are Matt La Rosa for first team saber, Boyd Warwick-Clark also first team saber, Matt Mahoski honorable mention saber, Jack Greenfield first team epee, Dan McCartney honorable mention epee, Nick La Rosa second team foil, and Berkeley Golon honorable mention foil.
The 2011-2012 Girls All-County winners are Jill Murray first team saber, Laura Broffman second team saber, JoAnn Alerte first team foil, Sabrina Sandler second team foil, Silvana Fazzalari honorable mention foil, Grey Warwick-Clark honorable mention epee, and Lauren Burke honorable mention epee.
Possibly the most memorable event of the season took place on the first Saturday in February. The Boys and Girls Fencing Teams participated in the Nassau County Individual Tournament Saturday, Feb. 4, and took 10 of 36 medals.
Winning the Gold medals were Jack Greenfield in Epee and Matt LaRosa in saber. Taking the Silver were Jill Murray in Saber and JoAnn Alerte in foil. Fourth place went to Lauren Burke in epee and Sabrina Sandler in foil. Nick LaRosa and Berkeley Golon took fifth and sixth in foil. Boyd Warwick–Clark and Laura Broffman took sixth in saber.
Although the Oyster Bay Boys lost to reigning champion Ward Melville in the Long Island Championship match on Valentine’s Day, the fencing teams can be extremely proud of their performance in and out of the classroom.