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From Fayetteville Observer: All American Fencing Academy team wins medals

Originally from:
By: Jaclyn Shambaugh
December 29, 2015

All American Fencing Academy marked the end of 2015 with a youth and teen tournament Dec. 19-20 at its downtown Fayetteville studio.

AAFA competitors took home a bevy of medals, grabbing second- and third-place finishes in several age divisions against Apex Fencing Academy.

Lindsey Cole, competing in her first tournament, won third place in a combined event and also finished third in the 10-12 age division.

Teammate Isabella Santucci took second place in 7- to 9-year-old event.

AAFA head coach Gerhard Guevarra said the academy’s youth classes are full of female competitors, with only one boy among the ranks of the youth students.

“It feels different having a team of girls,” Guevarra said. “Not only are they highly competitive, but they support and talk to each other and give hugs despite wins and losses. In a largely individual sport, they create a team atmosphere, even if their teammate is from a different class.”

In the teen competition, AAFA fencers won the second- through third-place medals. Luke Boyd placed second, and Theodore Schwamm and Victor Gomez tied for third.

A new coach has joined AAFA.

Isaac Erbele has joined the academy as an epee coach for new and experienced fencers.

Erbele is a West Point graduate and former member of the Washington-based DC Fencers’ Club. During his time with that club, he helped win a team epee gold medal at the 2012 North American Cup.

He’s a 2007 U.S. Fencing Association National Championship bronze medalist and has fenced in several World Cups.

Guevarra said Erbele continues AAFA’s proud military connection.

“We’re fortunate to have many accomplished fencers and coaches move to Fayetteville as a result of the military,” the coach said. “There are several soldiers and family members in the area that have been national fencers for different countries and accomplished collegiate fencers.”