Though David Austin and Brian Huang have had plenty of experience fencing with each other, the stakes were never higher than they were on Saturday.
After years of facing off in practice as teammates, Commack senior Austin defeated junior Huang in the men’s saber final at the Jeff Wolfe Holiday Fencing Tournament at Brentwood High School.
“It’s better training to face him competitively, as opposed to just in practice,” Austin said of his first bout with Huang with a medal on the line.
Despite the loss, Huang enjoyed the experience, saying “I had fun strategizing against him, since we both know how we each fence.”
Huang was not the only one who enjoyed the bout.
“It’s every coach’s dream to see two of their fencers in a final,” said Commack boys coach Frank Musto.
Both Austin and Huang credit their matchups in practice for improving their own fencing.
“Brian’s a very technical fencer, he has very good footwork, and this helps me with my own footwork,” Austin said. Huang said fencing with Austin has helped him a great deal in terms of learning strategy.
Austin, Huang, and Musto all agree that Commack has the potential to have one of the best saber teams in the county.
With two top starters taking gold and silver at Brentwood, the squad is off to a good start.