At first glance, the varsity fencing team's record seems good enough--seven wins and six losses, possession of the Arvanites Sabre Trophy, and the New England epee champion in the person of Jim Roberts. But, except for a fine upset victory over C.C.N.Y. in early February, the Crimson fared miserably against major opposition, dropping all five Ivy League matches.
Most of the varsity's triumphs came against relatively weak fencing squads from such schools as Trinity, Connecticut, and Bradford Durfee. The Crimson gained possession of the Arvanites Trophy by downing inexperienced sabre squads from Brandeis, B.U., and M.I.T. The trophy, offered for the first time this year, goes annually to the best sabre team in the Boston area, and the varsity should be able to retire it in short order.
Since the New England championships were held simultaneously with the Yale meet, the Crimson sent only a makeshift lineup, composed of second-stringers and manager Gerry Kelly. Still, the varsity took fourth place in the tournament, and Roberts came away with the New England epee crown after a fence-off with Brandeis' Mark Friedman.
Then there was the Ivy League. The Crimson absorbed five straight losses from Cornell, Columbia, princeton, Penn, and Yale in a frustrating show of futility. And last weekend came the debacle at the Intercollegiates in New York, where the varsity finished eighth out of 11 teams, winning only 32 of 90 bouts.
Led by graduating captain Bill Trebilcock, who had a 10-5 record in Ivy competition, foil was probably the varsity's strongest division this season. Lefthander Phil Charat, Larry Johnson, and Alan Gardner were all valuable assets. Next year's captain Dave Johnson got better as the year wore on, scoring the only Crimson foil victory in the Yale match. The return of this season's regulars, except Trebilcock, and the addition of freshmen Pete Schossberger and Mahlon Wheeler will make foil tough again next year.
Sabre was disappointing all season long, the Arvanites Trophy notwithstanding, and the departure of Manuel Cabral and Mike Woolf will be felt in the future. Sophomores Jon Piel, Lajos Heder, and Bob Whallon will form the nucleus of next winter's sabre squad, aided by freshman captain Graham Still-wagon.
In epee, Roberts and senior Anthony Enders, who won seven of ten bouts at the Intercollegiates, were bright spots in a dismal season. Sophomores Bill Bennett and Dave MacDougall, along with Roberts, will work to improve on this year's showing next winter.