Coach Edo Marion will unveil the greatest and most spirited varsity fencing team in years at 4 p.m. today at Holy Cross.
Last Year's talented but indifferent squad has given way to a group of positive thinkers. Led by captain Harry Jergesen, the new outfit has the elan vital so notably absent in last year's team but lacks its experience and speed.
Unlike last year, when some fencers waltzed in only once or twice a week for lackadaisical practice sessions, the fencing room is now the scene of long, disciplined drills. The new vigor is due partly to the eagerness of the sophomores and juniors who compose most of the team, and partly to Jergesen, who gets each session rolling with team calisthenics.
Jergesen, the team's only acknowledged star, has the technique and speed to be all-America in epee this year, according to Coach Marion. "He's dynamic and aggressive, a real fencing temperament," Marion said. Jergesen was first team all-Ivy two years ago but slipped into a slump his junior year. But at the end of the season he came surging back to win most of his bouts in the final matches.
In sabre, junior Bob Barnard has shown his new colors by taking second in a preseason Amateur Fencers' League of America open tournament at M.I.T. against tough competition.
Another junior sabre man, Ron Winfield, has speed and smooth technique but lacks bout experience. Senior John Gersh and sophomore Tony Abbott will wield their weapons at Holy Cross, but they will have to prove themselves in pre-Ivy bouts to crack the starting lineup.
Shrewd And Timely
Behind Jergesen in epee is sophomore Paul Viita. Although he is the fastest of the sophomores and has a smooth attack, Viita has been hampered by switching from foil. In epee, unlike foil, the arm is a target. Vita has trouble defending against attacks to the arm, Jergesen said.
Junior Bill Theodore is not as slick and fast as Viita, but he is more shrewd and timely on his attacks. Theodore may be second in epee.
Lanky sophomore Cliff Ruderman has a long reach for a foil man, but moves slowly. Junior Sam Fouts has quick hands, and sophomore Jim Trilling and Art Weissman are good technically. But the whole foil team is sluggish on its feet, Marion said.
Harvard has never lost to Holy Cross.