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High school freshman fencer and recruiting process

osasmomosasmom Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
edited November 2013 in Athletic Recruits
I am aware that scholarship money is very limited and for the most elite fencers. But at what level should my 14 year old son (foil) be fencing now to be on track to have a shot at a college team and/or for his fencing to aid in his admission? He's an excellent student (so far!) but aren't all fencers? ; ). My husband fenced at Yale hundreds of years ago but times have changed!
Post edited by osasmom on

Replies to: High school freshman fencer and recruiting process

  • sysdawgsysdawg Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    I think that depends on the college. I suggest you take a look at the bios on the rosters of various college teams, which will give you an idea of the pre-college fencing accomplishments for team members. Some teams are stronger than others, for instance Princeton, Columbia, Harvard are typically ranked top 7 or so, so one needs to be a stronger fencer to help in admissions there. The Princeton coach has said that he ususally has 3-4 recruiting slots per gender...which may mean 1 MF per year on average. Search here for threads with "fencing" in the title.
  • sysdawgsysdawg Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    P.S. for relative strengths of college teams:
    Rankings | NCAA.com
  • osasmomosasmom Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    I think I'm asking an even more basic question because I'm not sure I understand the fencing skills progression. He's not doing very well when he goes to big national tournaments (only as a Y14), and is just in the middle of the pack at our local Baycups here in CA. He goes to fencing practice four days a week--not the greatest coaching there but a big time commitment and he loves it. I'm wondering at what rate boys improve as they mature and go through puberty, or if we need to consider bringing him to a better club. Or maybe based on his average performance as a Y14 we should recognize that he will unlikely ever be good enough. I know in my daughter's sport, by freshman and sophomore year, she had to have all the skills she has now for competing next year at the ivy that recruited her. Sorry if I sound totally ignorant of the fencing world...my husband schleps him to his tournaments so I'm a little clueless. But I DO understand the athletic recruiting process, to some extent.
  • sysdawgsysdawg Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    I imagine that each case is going to be different, but my son started around the time he turned 12, fenced 5-6 days a week, and was improving relative to his age cohort for perhaps the first 3 years, and seems to have plateaued, at least for now, for the past 1-1.5 years. If there is a better club/coach, I'd pursue it. Ask for club suggestions at fencing.net, and/or do results searches by club at askfred.net.
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,817 Senior Member
    Every case is different, but as a general guideline a Y14 should be consistently making the 32 in national events, and be on track to be earning their B.

    Have you considered transferring to MTeam?
  • osasmomosasmom Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    Would that mean going to a place like Halberstadt's? That's exactly what we're considering but it would be a very difficult commute (well over an hour) and therefore a big sacrifice. We could make such a change once his sister heads off to college next fall. As much as I feel he is not getting adequate coaching, I don't want to be unrealistic about his talent or possibly lack thereof. Perhaps he should simply fence for fun and set aside the big aspirations given his performance so far after two years of fencing? On the other hand, if we're willing to invest so much time and money into the sport, commuting a half hour away to a club with weak coaches, it seems to make more sense to go for the best, despite the additional driving time. But even if the outstanding coaching will make a difference in his performance, is sophomore year too late to work toward his goal of a college fencing team?
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,817 Senior Member
    But even if the outstanding coaching will make a difference in his performance, is sophomore year too late to work toward his goal of a college fencing team?
    A lot can happen in three years with the right combination of talent, dedication, and coaching.

    Good enough to fence for an NCAA team? A reasonable goal.

    Good enough to fence on an elite team? Unlikely but possible. I followed two foilists who both went from unrated to U20 national medalists in three years. Not the norm, but it's been done.

    If you're willing to make the commitment, I'd recommend commuting to MTeam.

    Good luck.
  • osasmomosasmom Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    Thanks, Sherpa. I hope you're still available here as my son progresses towards his fencing and college goals these next few years. I enjoy your posts
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