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Great Neck South seeking double championship
Great Neck South coach Josh Baravarian has set the bar high for both his boys and girls teams this season.
He wants both to win the county championship.
It is a lofty goal, sure, but not an unrealistic one, given the talent the Rebels have.
The boys finished the regular season with an 11-1 record and the girls finished at 9-3. The boys are also the defending county champions.
The girls last won the county championship in 2011, when the current Rebels seniors were freshman.
The seniors “know what it feels like” to win counties, Baravarian said, and he says this has fueled their desire to take home the Nassau crown again.
While the Rebels seniors are hungry, the team’s underclassmen have helped lead the way.
In epee, sophomore Vera Lin is 28-1 and freshman Macy Meng is 26-5.
Sophomore Kelly Gragossian leads the foil team and is 23-5.
A pair of seniors in sabre helps provide the team’s leadership. Captain Christina Song is 19-10 and Lelina Chang is 16-7.
As for the boys end of the equation, the team is led by one of Long Island’s strongest epee teams.
“It’s nice to know we have such a strong anchor team,” Baravarian said of his epee unit that has won 73% of its matches.
Junior Skyler Chin headlines the group, and is 20-1 this season. Chin, the team captain, won his first 15 matches this season and also took gold at December’s Jeff Wolfe Holiday Fencing Tournament at Brentwood.
Chin has an A-rating from the United States Fencing Association and is nationally ranked in the under-17 and under-20 age groups.
“He has a wealth of experience,” Baravarian says, adding Chin has fenced “all around the country.”
Baravarian says Chin also adds value to the team for helping teach his teammates in epee.
“He helps raise their level of play,” Baravarian said.
Chin’s teammates in epee are strong fencers themselves. Senior Kevin Ko also has a national rating and is 17-5 this year. Ko reached the semifinals at the Brentwood Invitational.
Alex Hall is the third starter on epee and is 15-6. He came in fifth at Brentwood.
The Rebels epee team also includes Jeremy Kramer, who adds depth to the unit. Kramer was the fourth epee fencer from Great Neck South to finish in the top 10 at Brentwood. He went 14-8 during the regular season.
These four fencers have combined for a 76.7% winning percentage this season.
As if the epee team wasn’t strong enough, Great Neck South also features two of the best foil fencers in Nassau County.
Junior Kody Horiuchi and senior Andy Shu are both nationally-rated. Shu is 18-1 this season and Horiuchi is 19-3.
Like Great Neck South epee, the Rebels foil unit had a strong showing at the Brentwood Tournament.
Horiuchi won the foil competition, eliminating Shu in the semifinals in the process.
Jay Shah, who joins Shu and Horiuchi in foil, finished ninth in the competition.
Great Neck South sabre is led by senior Brian Lee and junior Pietro Pecora, and both have 18-8 records.