Fayetteville’s fencers from the All-American Fencing Academy started their spring season with a two-weapon tournament, Jan. 19, in Wilmington, N.C.  The academy’s epee and foil team sent a total of six fencers against North Carolina and Virginia fencers.

The academy is run by Gerhard Guevarra, a school liaison officer with Child, Youth and School Services, and an Army veteran.

In the elimination brackets, Harris continued past the first round with a 15-9 win against a Greenville fencer, but was eliminated in the second round by Brendan McConville of Wilmington, who eventually won the epee tournament.

“My epee fencers are just now getting used to competing.  They have many lessons to learn, but I am very pleased with their results,” said AAFA epee coach, Maya Cameron, an Army spouse.

“Harris, combining his height and quick learning curve could be a great fencer in North Carolina, along with many of our students.  His defense is wonderful, we’re now starting to develop our offensive prowess.”

Final standings in the epee event put Harris at 13th place and Baumeister in 23rd place.

In the foil tournament, Gerhard Guevarra, John Page, Elizabeth Leever and John Murray represented the AAFA.

Leever and Murray, who are both dependent children of Army retirees, each had a win in the pools.

Page and Guevarra faced each other in the semi-finals after seeding first and fourth, respectively, both going undefeated in their pools.  Guevarra continued to win in the finals against McConville, who also fenced in the foil tournament.

The true grit came from Murray, who seeded 17 entering the elimination bracket, as he faced Shane Mason (seeded 16) from New Bern, N.C. in the first round.

“Murray really has potential, he just has to get to more tournaments,” said Guevarra. “Murray executed the attacks, was changing his speed and doing everything that he’s been working on for the past weeks and it was beginning to click.”

Murray jumped into the lead against Mason and held it.  Many of the attacks blasted through Mason’s defense and found its target without opposition, garnering a 15-7 win in the first round, before Murray lost to teammate Page in the second round.

“If he hadn’t had to face his own teammate in the second round, I’m sure that Murray could have at least made it to the round of 8.  He’s that good and he’s getting better,” Guevarra said.

While Guevarra and Page took first and third, respectively; Murray and Leever placed 16th and 19th, respectively.

The All-American Fencing Academy is located at 207 B Donaldson St., Fayetteville, and  instructs and trains recreational and competitive fencers ages 7 to adult who can compete regionally and nationally. Coached by former World Cup and NCAA fencers, AAFA is open to starting new, after-school programs at area schools.

For more information about the All-American Fencing Academy and the fencing summer camps, please call 644-0137, send e-mail to info@allamericanfencing.com or visit www.allamericanfencing.com.