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Of Bats, Balls, and Freshmen


This year's fencing team blows hot and cold. Of six meets, they have lost three, which was two too many. Only Columbia, the number one team in the nation, should have beaten the swordsmen.

Only the Yale meet is left, but here, as in every other sport, season records are forgotten and both teams expect a win. Although this year's Eli fencers have lost only once, Coach Peroy's men are confident that they can whip the Yalies.

The past few years have seen 14-13 scores in the Yale meets; last year the Crimson took the win. Joe Vera, Intercollegiate folls champion, was the varsity standout in that meet. His vacancy has not yet been filled.

The foil has the smallest bell (hand shield) of the fencing weapons. The object is to hit the opponent only in the torse and with the point of the foil. Five touches are necessary to win a bout. Foils matches, as well as sabre and epee, are fought in a small rectangle with the participants wearing masks and chest protectors.

The team is weakest on the foil. Junior Eric Sollee is the best foils man Coach Peroy has. He has gained speed and steadiness and has improved his footwork since last year. Neil Jertson, a sophomore, is good, but needs experience and an improved technique. Lefty Chris Martin needs a great deal of practice.

Epee matches are the closest thing in modern fencing to the duels of yore. Any part of the body is fair meat and only three touches are required to win a bout. Captain Win Overholser has been cutting up his opponents in good style this season. He placed fourth in the intercollegiate nationals last year and has the best record on the squad this season. A little more speed could make him really great.

John Smith is a close second. He has Overholser's talent but lacks his, steadiness. Sophomores George McNair and Byron Morton show promise, but especially Morton needs more of Peroy's expert tutelage.

The sabre is the roughest of the fencing weapons. Touches are allowed not only with the point, but also with the cutting edge of the weapon anywhere above the waist; five touches win. The sabre has meant the difference so far and will again at Yale.

Forrest Carter is number one sabre man and the varsity's number one fencer. He has the speed, footwork, and polished style in which Overholser is slightly shy, but he is not as dependable as the captain. If Carter would simmer down, he'd be another Joe Vera. He's in his last year.

The chief trouble with sophomores Harry Zeil and Bob McConaughy is lack of experience. Both show good stuff, but against men with seven or eight years' experience, they might as well be dueling Doug Fairbanks.

All of which makes for an average team. With the prospective talent that is there, they should have run over Army and Princeton, They didn't. This doesn't make for a bright outlook. But against Yale at least, the performances will all be good.

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