For Christopher Collado, stepping onto the strip today was about redemption.
Winning all of his epee bouts was the only way to go. He did just that, leading Commack to victory against Brentwood, 17-10, in Suffolk I boys fencing.
“Last season when I went up against Brentwood, it was the final bout and I lost. That was the deciding bout and we lost the match,” Collado said. “I was more prepared [this time]. It really came down to my actions and I got my revenge against an amazing team.”
Last season the boys team came in third place in the county tournament, losing to Brentwood.
“We all wanted to win and get back from the loss to Brentwood [last season],” said Sean Pak, who also went 2-0 in epee.
The epee squad showed up at the meet with Collado, Pak and Alex Fenderbush going 2-0 in their respective bouts.
“They were focused and ready to fence. We had a few players missing and they really stepped up,” coach Paul Slackman said.
Commack is off to a 1-0 start. While it’s only the beginning, both Collado and Pak are ready for the finals.
“Every win is one step toward counties,” Pak said.
“I want to be the best fencer I can be for myself, the team and the county. I’ve worked hard toward that goal and at this point it’s do or die,” Collado said.
Commack girls still strong. For the Commack girls team, stepping onto the strip against Brentwood meant continuing their excellence from last season.
The returning county champs won their first 14 bouts ultimately defeating Brentwood, 19-8.
“We’re coming out so strong,” said Stephanie Miller, who went 2-0 in sabre.
The Cougars are coming back a different team after winning the Suffolk Tournament last season. They lost a few key players who were seniors and they have a new coach.
“Our main goal is to rebuild our team this season and stay consistent with our successes. We have to keep doing well and not get discouraged by all of the new things we are encountering,” said Jung Soo Ahn, who went 2-0 in epee.
They weren’t discouraged at all. Seven girls went 2-0, including Ahn and Miller. Esther Jung went 2-0 in foil.
“We are going to keep trying and doing our best. The goal is to keep pushing forward,” Ahn said.
Both teams face Huntington on Monday.