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Fierce Fencing

Jericho Seniors Eric Basile and Jason Landsman

Take 2013 Nassau County Fencing Championships

Jericho High School recently hosted the 2013 Nassau County Individual Fencing Championships, where over 144 of the county’s top fencers competed head to head in the annual individual tournament, and there was a lot to cheer about.  Fencing in Nassau County Section XIII Sports is usually a team event, but every year, this special tournament pits only the best high school fencers against each other. This year, Eric Basile (epee) and Jason Landsman (sabre) of Jericho were county champions.

A controversy arose earlier in the season at one of the team meets surrounding Basile’s use of a painted fencing mask bearing the Jericho mascot, the Jayhawk. No fencer has used a painted mask in the history of Long Island HS fencing. During its match against Hewlett, a protest was raised by a fencer and his coach about using the mask in competition, forcing Basile to switch gear. Basile then contacted the USA Fencing Olympic Rules Committee which quickly ruled that the mask is legal and approved for all national and international tournaments.The mask, known as the “Angy Jayhawk” is the first mask approved by the USA Olympc Fencing Rules Committee, paving the way for individual fencers to add some individualism to their white fencing uniforms.

“My friends on the US Olympic Fencing Team wore painted masks in the Olympics, bearing the stars and stripes. The rules committee previously issued a ruling last year that they are encouraging some individualism including painted masks, so I really hope this starts a trend,” said Basile.

The Jericho fencing team posted a regular season record of 6-6, and now its fencers had the opportunity to prove themselves one-on-one. Jason Landsman fenced for the county championship against a much taller and experienced fencer from Great Neck South. Falling behind, 3-1, Jericho Fencing Coach Seth Skolnick suggested Landsman take a different approach: use his size to his advantage by getting up under the arm of his opponent. Landsman battled back, and eventually won his match 15-13.

Basile’s final opponent of the tournament was Jacob Kleinberg of Hewlett. After falling behind early, Basile came back to win the match 15-3.

“I told my teammates, sometimes I held back during the season because I didn’t want to get hurt and put my national competition schedule in jeopardy, but this was personal to me. I just treated that bout like a national Junior Olympics bout,” he said.

Basile’s high school record is 141 – 9, including his four losses in seventh grade. He has won every title in HS fencing including; Second Team All County, First Team All County, Newsday’s All Long Island, and now Nassau County Champion. He is currently ranked 41st in the country in the Junior age division (Under 20) and is the highest ranked national fencer in Epee from Long Island. He will be fencing for the Columbia University Lions in the fall.

“It’s bittersweet for me…my high school coaches have been great and the athletic director and the schools administration deserve a big thank you for supporting our high school fencing program,” concluded Basile. “Go Jayhawks!”


Eight students from Jericho High School, the largest number of students from any school on Long Island this year, are among the 300 semifinalists picked from 1,800 entrants nationally and overseas in the annual Intel Science Talent Search.

Brookville’s Green Vale School students were featured in the September/October 2013 issue of Sport Rocketry, the official journal of the National Association of Rocketry.

The seventh-grade students competed nationally at the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) last May in Virginia and were the youngest rocket scientists competing. They were also the only team from Long Island that qualified to enter the competition and one of only two teams from New York State.


The Syosset Braves 11-year-old football team recently won the Superbowl Championship Game against the Rosedale Jets with a final score of 13 to 0.

The Farrell & Schmidt Ho Ho Ho 5-Kilometer Run started and finished at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage on Dec. 21. The top local finisher was Tim Mahony of Syosset, who scored in 11th place overall and third in the 15 to 19 age group.

Other locals winning awards in this year’s Ho Ho Ho Run were Gina Ferraro of Syosset (2nd woman, 35-39 age group), Patty Santella of Syosset (3rd woman, 45-49 age group), Kim Solomine of Syosset (2nd woman, 55-59 age group).


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