Don't expect Ward Melville's run to end.
The Patriots have enjoyed three consecutive undefeated seasons, leading to three straight Suffolk County and Long Island championships. In the 10 years of the program's existence, Ward Melville has five county and Long Island titles.
In sabre, Ward Melville returns a strong duo with seniors Peter Freiss, the defending county champion and an All-Long Island selection last season, and C.J. Junior, who was an All-County pick. Senior Chris Sullivan, another All-Long Island pick, returns in foil.
There's also a strong underclass contingent.
John Petrie IV was a county runner-up in foil last year as a freshman, and junior Michael Shaw earned All-County honors in epee.
"There is a lot of depth off the bench, and coupled with the mix of styles, it will allow us to be strategic when planning matchups," said Jennie Salmon, who coaches the Ward Melville girls team and assists husband, Jeff, with the boys team.
Senior Cliff Fishler has won each county individual championship in epee since his freshman year and is A-rated at the national level. Fishler also won the national championships in epee in 2008, and finished in the top eight at the Division 1 North American Cup Championship recently.
Senior epee specialist Stephen Ngo was a finalist in the Brentwood Holiday Tournament and adds depth to Great Neck South. Juniors Ethan Levy and Zach Goodman will lead the foils. Senior Brandyn Itzkowitz will lead the sabres, along with senior Young Bum Chun.
"Any team can beat any other team on any given day," Great Neck South coach Robert Piraino said. "It depends on who shows up and if their head is in the game. The athletes must always be prepared, mentally and physically."