LAKE JACKSON — Epees stabbed at body parts and the elegant dance of fencing graced the gym of Brazosport College as fencers from all over Texas gathered.
The Gobbler’s Revenge After Thanksgiving Epee tournament was held Saturday at Brazosport College gymnasium, featuring 25 fencers from across the state, both young and old.
“I think everything went great. We had people from all over the state come, we had exciting fencing,” Brazosport Fencing coach Kevin O’Neill said. “We had some great finals and it was all ideal and this is why we do it, we had fun.”
There were finals for three divisions: Mixed Draw, Women’s, and Y14 groups. The first-place finisher for the Mixed Draw division was University of Texas fencer Charles Franznick, beating out Texas State University Fencing Club’s Scott Davis 15-9.
The Women’s division first-place winner was University of Texas fencer Olivia Lampe. She beat Alliance fencer Silvia Brandt 15-4, showing everyone her technical hits on her opponent.
“Olivia is a very technical person who loves to perfect her craft,” O’Neill said. “She is an alumni of our group and went on to Texas to major in chemistry. She fences for their club team and was on their team to go to Nationals, so she’s really good.”
In Y14, Brazosport fencer Landon Castor beat out Brazosport fencer Ethan Gaston 15-11 for first place. There were several competitors in their first fencing tournament, and the competition was a way to get them more involved in the sport.
“One of the more inspiring things for me was seeing some of my Y14 fencers actually boot up and figure things out on the strip,” O’Neill said. “Hayden Harvill was one of the ones that figured out something on the strip, he didn’t win the bout he learned something out there.”
Twelve-year-old Harvill hasn’t been fencing for long and tied for third in Y14. Damien Galloway, another young fencer for Brazosport Fencing, got his feet wet in competitions and has shown a desire to do more.
“It was tough, but it’s just kind of hard to explain in words,” Galloway said.
He has only been participating in the sport since September, but his mother, Ana Galloway, said she was proud to see him face fencers outside of his fencing group.
“That was a good learning experience for him and I actually saw him come alive on the strip, and I think this will be a lifelong passion for him,” she said.
Although there were multiple beginners who clashed through bout after bout Saturday, several fencers have been involved in the fencing lifestyle for years.
Alliance fencer Victoria Filippov-Nemth and Jesus Nino have been fencing for more than 10 years. They know it can get emotional, whether you’re winning or losing a match, but everybody has their own way of handling things.
“Yeah once people get to the elimination round, you’ll really start to see people yelling and their emotions coming out,” Nino said. “I do it every now and then, I make like a barking sound when I make a good sound.”
Filippov-Nemeth said every fencer has their tick.
“I just hate when people yell ‘let’s go’,” he said. “It just makes me want to beat them more.”
Brazosport Fencing won’t host any more competitions this year. Information about the club is available at www.facebook.com/BrazosportFencing/.