Meet Newsday's All-Long Island boys fencing team for the 2019-2020 winter season.
Newsday Fencer of the Year: Gabe Magidson, Great Neck South, Sr.
After losing to Garden City’s Zach Ortiz in both the Jeff Wolfe Holiday tournament at Brentwood and the county final last year, Gabe Magidson’s plan for the off season was to simply become a better fencer.
Consider that plan fulfilled.
The senior went 18-0 in the regular season, took the gold medal at Brentwood and won the Nassau individual title in foil. He earned a 'B' ranking by the USFA while leading Great Neck South to its second straight undefeated regular season.
“He was good last year, but this year he was phenomenal,” coach Josh Baravarian said. “His competition level and his movement was two notches above what it was.”
This year, he beat Ortiz in the county semifinals and rolled in the final against Syosset southpaw Tyler Chan to become the Nassau foil champion. And while he finally earned the hardware this season, his coaches and teammates likely will best remember him for the type of leader he became.
"He's the epitome of what you would want in a captain,” said Baravarian. “He will work with the more advanced fencers to fill holes in their games and work tactics he’s picked up over the years with the less experienced fencers.”
Magidson leaves behind quite a legacy for someone who began fencing just five years ago and didn’t become a starter until his junior season.
“He decided fencing would be his sport and he wanted to be a part of it,” said Baravarian. “So he dug in, put the time in, and his ability shot through the roof.”
Leif Dalberg, Newfield/Miller Place, Jr.
Dalberg won the Suffolk foil championship and went 27-4 overall.
Steven Grams, Great Neck South, Sr.
Grams, a two-time All-Long Island selection, went undefeated in dual meets (18-0) and took first at Brentwood before winning the county title in epee. He achieved an ‘A20’ rating from USA Fencing and will compete for NYU next season.
Kenneth Lau, Herricks, Sr.
Lau had just one loss in the regular season and took the county title in sabre.
Kelly Liu, Ward Melville, Soph.
Liu went 23-2 in dual meets and won the county championship in sabre while helping lead Ward Melville to its 15th Long Island championship in 18 years.
Charlie Pak, Commack, Jr.
After seeing his sophomore season cut short due to injury, Pak ran the table at this year's Suffolk championships to win the county title in epee.
Coach of the Year: Kevin Oliver, Garden City
Oliver's Garden City team (11-2) defeated previously unbeaten Great Neck South in the Nassau final before falling to Ward Melville in the Long Island championship.