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Ranking of Top Feeder Clubs for NJ.com’s All-State High School Boys Fencing Teams 2009-2010 to 2016-2017

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The “chicken-or-egg” question is often asked: “What came first, fencing clubs or high school fencing teams?” The symbiotic relationship between fencing clubs and high school fencing teams is undeniable and is further examined in our post where we rank the top feeder clubs for the New Jersey Boys High School All-State Fencing Teams over the past eight years.

For the past decade or so, NJ.com¹ has posted on its New Jersey Boys High School Fencing website, the Boys Fencing All-State Teams in Saber, Foil, and Epee at the end of the high school fencing season. The season which normally starts in early December and finishes with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (NJSIAA) State Individual Fencing Championships in early March, includes the Cetrulo and Santelli Tournaments, dual meets between schools, District Championships, State Squad Championships and the State Team Championships.

Each year three New Jersey high school boy fencers in each weapon are selected for NJ.com’s First Team (nine fencers in all). Three for each weapon are also selected to the Second Team and three for the Third Team, giving a total of nine fencers per weapon and 27 fencers who make the All-State Boys Fencing Team. The analysis which follows includes data on the All-State Teams for eight years, 2009-2010 and 2016-2017, thereby providing data for 72 fencers for each team and 72 fencers for each weapon for a total count of 216 All-State Team members since 2009-2010.

All-State Team Members 

Columbia High School, the powerhouse fencing high school based in Maplewood, heads the leaderboard with 20 All-State Team members since 2009-2010. The school has been well represented with seven epee, seven saber, and six foil All-State Team members. Bernards High School, located in Bernardsville and serving students in Somerset County, is ranked #2 with 13 All-State Team members. With its proximity to Medeo Fencing Club, the epee center of New Jersey, the school has excelled in epee with seven epee All-State Team members.

St. Peter’s Preparatory School, a private, all-male, Jesuit school located in Jersey City is ranked # 3 with a total of 12 All-State Team members. Foil has been a strong weapon for the school with six All-State foil fencers. Interestingly, both Ramapo High School and West Windsor Plainsboro-South High School are tied with Columbia High School with the largest number of saber All-State Team members.  Unfortunately, only two of the schools’ epee fencers and none of the schools’ foil fencers made the All-State Team during the period.

Ranking of New Jersey High School Boys Fencing Teams by Number of All-State Members 2009-2010 to 2016-2017

RankClubEpeeFoilSaberTotal
Total727272216
1Columbia High School76720
2Bernards High School73313
3St. Peter's Preparatory School26412
4Newark Academy37111
5Millburn High School2349
5Montclair High School6129
5Ramapo High School279
5Ridge High School459
5West Morris Mendham High School5139
5West Windsor Plainsboro-North5229
5West Windsor Plainsboro-South279
12North Hunterdon High School167
12Wayne Hills High School1157
14Christian Brothers Academy426
14Don Bosco Preparatory High School3216
14Watchung Hills Regional High School2226
17Governor Livingston High School55
17Hunterdon Central Regional High School55
17Livingston High School2125
17Montgomery High School1315
21Fair Lawn High School314
21Northern Highlands Regional High School44
23Bergen County Technical High School33
23Indian Hills High School33
23Montclair Kimberley Academy213
23Pompton Lakes High School213
23Ranney School123
23Teaneck High School33
23Voorhees High School33
30Moorestown Friends School22
30Randolph High School112
30Sommerville High School112
30St. Augustine Preparatory School22
30The Pingry School112
30West Milford High School112
36Chatham High School11
36Morris Hills High School11
36Shore Regional High School11
36West Morris Central High School11
Source: NJ.com and National Fencing Club Rankings

Feeder Fencing Clubs

New Jersey fencing clubs have played an important role in the success of high school fencing in the state. We have previously examined the impact fencing club members had on two high school fencing tournaments in New Jersey this year, the Cetrulo Tournament for boys and the Santelli Tournament for girls. Check out our post: The Relationship Between High School Fencing and Fencing Club Membership. Our analysis of NJ.com’s All-State Boys Fencing Team for the past eight years, reveals that of the 216 All-State Team members, 207 or almost 96% were members of 26 fencing clubs in either New Jersey or New York. Seven All-State Team members had no previous affiliation with a fencing club and two had a previous affiliation but were no longer affiliated with a club during the year in which they made the All-State Team.

Medeo Fencing Club, the epee powerhouse for high school fencing is based in Bridgewater. It is the most centrally located of all New Jersey’s fencing clubs and is the #1 ranked feeder club to the All-State High School Boys Fencing Teams over the past eight years as illustrated in the accompanying table. It is also the #1 ranked feeder club to the All-State High School Girls Fencing Teams over the same period as revealed in our accompanying post.

The #2 ranked club is Empire United Fencing, a juggernaut in the foil world. Prior to merging with the Fencers Club in New York (March 2017), the club accounted for 21 All-State Team members, all of them foil. Following up and ranked #3 is Bergen Fencing Club, a saber juggernaut based in Ho Ho Kus and Hillsborough with 16 All-State fencers.

Ranking of Feeder Clubs by Number of All-State Members on New Jersey High School Boys Fencing Teams 2009-2010 to 2016-2017

RankClubEpeeFoilSaberTotal
Total727272216
1Medeo Fencing Club166628
2Empire United Fencing (Merged)2121
3Bergen Fencing Club11516
4Fencing Academy of South Jersey (Closed)35513
4Lucchetti Fencing USA (Closed)28313
6Manhattan Fencing Center11011
7Espada Training Center (Closed)8210
7Morris Fencing Club44210
9Fencers Club5139
9Lilov Fencing Academy4149
11Atlantic Fencing Academy5218
11Clinton Fencing Club (Closed)178
11Peter Westbrook Foundation88
14Cobra Fencing Club1427
14New Jersey Fencing Alliance2147
14No Club5117
17New York Athletic Club44
17Premier Fencing Club1214
19Durkan Fencing Academy213
19Gutkovskiy Fencing Academy33
19TigerZ Fencing Academy33
22Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club22
22Integrity Fencing Studio22
22Mr. MA USA (Closed)112
22Nyack Fencing Academy (Closed)22
22Unattached22
22V Fencing Club22
28Advance Fencing and Fitness Academy11
28Manchen Academy of Fencing11
Source: NJ.com and National Fencing Club Rankings. Note: It should be noted that a number of clubs have only existed for a couple of years and a number of clubs have closed. In addition, a number of clubs have merged, e.g., Empire United Fencing has merged with the Fencers Club in Manhattan.

Choosing the right fencing club is no small task for fencers and their parents. It involves a range of factors and includes practical issues such as driving distances and travel times. Medeo Fencing Club, the # 1 ranked feeder club, has contributed to the success of 28 All-State Team members at nine high schools including Bernards High School (7), Watchung Hills Regional High School (6) and Ridge High School (5).

The #2 ranked feeder club, Empire United Fencing has contributed to the success of 21 All-State Team members from 10 schools including Columbia High School (4), Governor Livingston High School (3) and North Hunterdon High School (3). Bergen Fencing Club has assisted 16 All-State Team members from six schools, including Wayne Hills High School (5) and Ramapo High School (4). High schools with All-State Team members have relied on fencers from 26 fencing clubs in New Jersey.

Columbia High School has 20 All-State Team members from seven clubs, including the Fencers Club (5), Empire United Fencing (4) and New Jersey Fencing Alliance (4). The runner-up to Columbia High School, Bernards High School, has sourced its 13 All-State Team members from three clubs, including Medeo Fencing Club (7) and Morris Fencing Club (4). While Moorestown Friends School, West Milford High School, and West Morris Central High School are listed with All-State Team members, none of the schools’ fencers were members of a fencing club as illustrated in the table below.

New Jersey High Schools with All-State Boys Fencing Team Members & Their Feeder Clubs (2009-2010 to 2016-2017)

Bergen County Technical High School Northern Highlands Regional High School
-Bergen Fencing Club -Empire United Fencing
-Manhattan Fencing Center -Gutkovskiy Fencing Academy
Bernards High School Pompton Lakes High School
-Medeo Fencing Club -Espada Training Center
-Morris Fencing Club -New York Athletic Club
-Peter Westbrook Foundation Ramapo High School
Chatham High School -Bergen Fencing Club
-Integrity Fencing Studio -Espada Training Center
Christian Brothers Academy -Manhattan Fencing Center
-Atlantic Fencing Academy Randolph High School
Columbia High School -Bergen Fencing Club
-Empire United Fencing -Morris Fencing Club
-Espada Training Center Ranney School
-Fencers Club -Atlantic Fencing Academy
-Lilov Fencing Academy -Fencers Club
-New Jersey Fencing Alliance Ridge High School
-Peter Westbrook Foundation -Empire United Fencing
-V Fencing Club -Fencers Club
Don Bosco Preparatory High School -Medeo Fencing Club
-Durkan Fencing Academy Sommerville High School
-Empire United Fencing -Medeo Fencing Club
-Espada Training Center St. Augustine Preparatory School
-Fencers Club -Manhattan Fencing Center
Fair Lawn High School -Premier Fencing Club
-Bergen Fencing Club St. Peter’s Preparatory School
-New York Athletic Club -Cobra Fencing Club
-Nyack Fencing Academy -Empire United Fencing
Governor Livingston High School -Lilov Fencing Academy
-Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club -Medeo Fencing Club
-Empire United Fencing -Peter Westbrook Foundation
-Mr. MA USA Teaneck High School
Hunterdon Central Regional High School -Peter Westbrook Foundation
-Clinton Fencing Club The Pingry School
Indian Hills High School -Manhattan Fencing Center
-Bergen Fencing Club -V Fencing Club
Livingston High School Voorhees High School
-Fencing Academy of South Jersey -Manchen Academy of Fencing
-Lucchetti Fencing USA -Medeo Fencing Club
-Manhattan Fencing Center Watchung Hills Regional High School
-TigerZ Fencing Academy -Medeo Fencing Club
Millburn High School Wayne Hills High School
-Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club -Bergen Fencing Club
-Empire United Fencing -Fencing Academy of South Jersey
-Lucchetti Fencing USA -Morris Fencing Club
-New Jersey Fencing Alliance West Milford High School
-Peter Westbrook Foundation West Morris Central High School
Montclair High School West Morris Mendham High School
-Empire United Fencing -Espada Training Center
-Lilov Fencing Academy -Integrity Fencing Studio
-New York Athletic Club -Medeo Fencing Club
Montclair Kimberley Academy -Morris Fencing Club
-Espada Training Center West Windsor Plainsboro-North
-Lilov Fencing Academy -Durkan Fencing Academy
Montgomery High School -Fencing Academy of South Jersey
-Fencing Academy of South Jersey -Medeo Fencing Club
-Mr. MA USA -Premier Fencing Club
-Premier Fencing Club -TigerZ Fencing Academy
Moorestown Friends School West Windsor Plainsboro-South
Morris Hills High School -Fencing Academy of South Jersey
-Lucchetti Fencing USA -Lucchetti Fencing USA
Newark Academy -Manhattan Fencing Center
-Advanced Fencing and Fitness Academy -TigerZ Fencing Academy
-Lilov Fencing Academy Shore Regional High School
-Lucchetti Fencing USA -Empire United Fencing
-Medeo Fencing Club
North Hunterdon High School
-Clinton Fencing Club
-Empire United Fencing
-Fencing Academy of South Jersey

Source: National Fencing Club Rankings based on analysis of NJ.com, askFRED.net, and USFA Membership data.

¹NJ.com is an affiliate of Advance Digital, a leading creator of local news and information websites, created in alliance with over 36 newspapers owned and operated by Advance Publications Inc, including The Star-Ledger.

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