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Brentwood boys expect big things heading into Suffolk tournament

Brentwood fencer Julian Priceman competes against Great Neck

Brentwood fencer Julian Priceman competes against Great Neck South fencer Andy Shu (not pictured) in boys foil at the Brentwood Holiday Tournament. (Dec. 14, 2013) (Credit: Steven Ryan)

Expectations are high at Brentwood heading into the Suffolk County Fencing Championships, and the Indians boys will be one of the leading teams looking to end Ward Melville’s stranglehold on the county.

“I expect good things,” said Brentwood coach Mike Corona, looking ahead to the county tournament his school will host on Saturday. Corona said he anticipates at least a top-three finish for his team.

Brentwood, which joins Ward Melville and Commack as the boys favorites in Suffolk, has an experienced team which includes seniors starting at every position.

Corona said his fencers are “fired up” and peaking at the right time. The Brentwood boys team won the overall team cup and two gold medals at the Huntington Relay on January 25, and also beat Commack on Tuesday.

The victory over Commack moved Brentwood (9-3) into the number two seed for the county tournament with two matches remaining in the regular season.

Brentwood sabre won one of the team’s gold medals at the Huntington event, recording victories over Ward Melville and Commack on the way.

Team captain Braulio Trejo leads the way in sabre and is 22-9 this season. Corona says Trejo is a good motivator of his teammates and “leads by example.”

Joe Bordonaro (18-12) and Michael Alcantara (16-15) are the other starters on sabre, but Corona said those “records don’t show how good I think they are.”

The coach cites both their record in “clutch” matches and their performance at the Huntington Relay as evidence of their true potential.

“These three guys have been working so hard,” Corona said, adding they have “matured into what I knew they could be. The fruit of their labor has really paid off.”

Kevin Alvarez has also provided contributions to the team, adding depth to Brentwood sabre.

Brentwood’s second gold at Huntington came in epee, thanks to the trio of Christian Nixon, Chris Cruz and Selom Gasu.

Nixon is 23-5 this season, earning high praise from his coach.

“I think he’s the best epee fencer in Suffolk,” Corona said. The coach said Nixon is “passionate” and “consistent,” and has a “keen sense of timing” which has helped him be successful.

Cruz came in second in epee at last year’s individual county tournament and is 19-9 this season. Cruz is 21-7.

In foil, Brentwood is led by Julian Priceman, who has split his time between the strip and the music room.

Corona says he and Brentwood’s music teachers have to “share” Priceman, who is pursuing a career in music.

When put in this context, Priceman’s 25-6 record looks even more impressive.

Priceman is joined in foil by Sean Rivera and Malik Tricoche.

Corona described Tricoche as a “diamond in the rough,” adding that when “he’s on, he’s fearless. He doesn’t care who’s on the other side of the strip.”

Tags: Brentwood , fencing , Julian Priceman , Chris Cruz , Braulio Trejo , Christian Nixon

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