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School Sports Guest Column

Maplewood's NJFA Fencers Thrive

Marci White

Friday, June 27, 2014 • 6:29am

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The New Jersey Fencing Alliance (NJFA) in Maplewood ended the fencing season with many top performing athletes once again winning numerous medals. These elite athletes have had an outstanding year with NJFA. Its members have successfully competed in local, regional and national tournaments. Congratulations are in order for the following fencers who qualified and continue to train for the upcoming Summer National Championships which are held in Columbus, Ohio this year which lasts from June 22- July 3.

Fifteen-year old Elizabeth Sweetra, ninth-grader from Oak Knoll, won the trophy for the overall winner of the NJFA Youth Cup season in Youth 14 Women’s Sabre. Her accomplishments this year also include 5 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 2 bronze medals which includes a bronze in the Denise O’Connor U-20 High School Championships and earned her “E” rating. 

Fourteen-year-old Andrew Greenberg, eighth-grader from Millburn Middle School, has had a fabulous year and is a force to be reckoned with. His accomplishments this year include 7 gold medals, 6 silver medals and 3 bronze medals in numerous Men’s Sabre events. Greenberg also took home the trophy for second place in the NJFAs Youth Cup season and earned his “D” rating in March.

Thirteen-year-old seventh-grader Amber White seventh-grader from Kent Place School, continues to consistently place in Youth 14 Women’s Sabre events. Recently, she won gold at the NJ Division Summer National Qualifier, bronze at the last two NJFA Youth Cups and she earned  her “E” rating earlier this year. White also won the trophy for the overall second place winner in the NJFA Youth Cup season in Youth 14 Women’s Sabre. 

Ten-year old Jadeyn Williams, who attends St. Michaels in Cranford, NJ is a very strong and dedicated Sabre fencer with 2 gold medals, 1 silver and 5 bronze medal wins this fencing season. Williams brought home the Youth 10 second place trophy for the NJFA Youth Cup this year and will surely be bringing home many more medals in the future. 

Sabre Coach Abdoulaye Thiam of NJFA said “When these fencers pull their masks down, they are all business. Just this year alone, several of our members have earned classifications and continue to improve their national rankings. I am confident that their focus and determination in the sport will take them all the way to the Olympic Team. They are certainly developing the skill.” Abdoul is a former 2008 Men’s Sabre Olympian and has been a coach with NJFA for the past 2 years.

NJFA is located at 54 Burnett Ave, Maplewood, New Jersey, 07040 and is one of the largest fully equipped state-of-the-art fencing facilities in the country. This 17,500 sf venue offers 19 grounded official USFA fencing strips. Frank Mustilli, owner and head coach, lives in South Orange and opened NJFA about 10 years ago.

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