NEWSDAY FENCER OF THE YEAR
Mandy Li, Great Neck South, Fr.
Li began the season with a gold medal performance in foil at the Jeff Wolfe Holiday Tournament in January. She posted a 28-0 record in regular season dual meets before winning the Nassau individual championship in foil. She helped lead Great Neck South to an undefeated regular season, a county title and a Long Island championship game appearance. She went 4-0 in the playoffs.
Suffolk Fencer of the Year
Erica Chen, Half Hollow Hills (West), Jr.
Chen was the top sabrist in Suffolk after coming away with a pair of individual championships. She began with her second straight gold medal at the Jeff Wolfe Holiday Tournament and finished with a county championship in sabre. She was 25-1 in dual meets.
The All-Long Island Team
Mary Ye, Great Neck South, Sr.
Ye was 29-1 in dual meets and won the Nassau individual championship in sabre and led the Rebels to a county team championship for the second time in three years.
Valerie Slackman, Commack, Soph.
Slackman finished with two individual championships in epee — a gold medal at the Jeff Wolfe Holiday Tournament and a Suffolk individual title. She was 31-3 in dual meets.
Rachel Kowalsky, Oyster Bay, So.
Kowalsky was 30-3 in dual meets, and won the Nassau individual championship in epee.
Claire Becchina, Ward Melville, Fr.
Becchina won the Suffolk individual championship in foil and was 23-0 in dual meets for the Long Island champs.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Kyle Hempe, Ward Melville
The Patriots were 15-0 and won the county and Long Island championship. Since taking over as coach in 2016, Hempe’s teams are undefeated with three Long island titles.
“It’s great to continue learning from Jeff [Salmon, Ward Melville boys coach] and help him keep the program successful,” Hempe said. “I know I can make a difference for a lot of athletes, and I really put everything I can into maintaining the level this program needs to be at.”
Ward Melville has won 52 straight matches.