Fencing comes to Hilltop Country Day School
School hosts youth championships

From left: Hilltop Head of School Kevin Folan, Max Mazzatta, Kana Pasunuri, Michael Marsico, Sergey Gekht (SJ), Allen Trudnos (Tour Assistant Referee), Maestro Mark Trudnos (NFA Fencing Head Coach)

SPARTA — The 2017-2018 school year was the inaugural season for the Hilltop Country Day School’s new Youth Fencing Team. Coached by Maestro Mark Trudnos, founder and president of NFA Fencing Alliance (NFA), this athletic offering was a fantastic complement to the myriad of enrichment programs already offered at Hilltop. The fencers practiced every Monday afternoon throughout the year and the team was comprised of 8 competitors, both Hilltop students, and local area student-athletes.
On Monday, June 4, 2018 Hilltop CDS hosted the 2018 Youth Fencing Championships.
Final results:
• Youth 10 boys Foil: Sergey Geht (S.J.) - 1st place
• Youth 12 & Youth 14 boys Foil: Max Mazzatta (7th grade)- 1st place; Kanna Pasanuri (7th grade)-2nd place; and Michael Marsico (4th grade)-3rd place
Fencing is a combat sport in which two opponents fight with a foil, epee, or saber. It is a sport of speed, flexibility, coordination, reflexes, and tactics. Strength, concentration, a sense of observation, perseverance, and self-control are skills essential to fencers. Hilltop’s leadership team was excited to develop this unique athletic offering to its student body this year.
Hilltop's Head of School Kevin Folan said, “Athletics and physical fitness are crucial in the development and education of the whole child. Maestro Trudnos, like me, believes that athletics are a means to help our kids develop the character, confidence, and leadership necessary to succeed in life, not just in fencing. Needless to say, we are excited to invite NFA back to Hilltop in the fall and hope to grow this amazing program.”
Sparta resident and current Hilltop 7th grader, Kanna Pasanuri, said, “It was exciting, intense, very competitive, and so much fun. I learned how to be precise, to conserve my energy for an attack and the importance of footwork. I can’t wait for it to start again in the fall.”
Maestro Mark commented, “The NFA fencing club greatly appreciates Mr. Folan, and Ms. McGee, for promoting fencing as an Olympic Sport at Hilltop Country Day School, in Sussex County," Mark Trudnos said. "Additionally, fencing as a sport is a great way to receive scholarships and get into the best universities and colleges all over the United States, this includes Ivy leagues for Men’s and Women’s fencing teams.”
Hilltop Country Day School is Sussex County’s only independent school serving students in preschool through Grade 8. Hilltop’s focus on project-based pedagogical approach allows students to see the real world relevance of their education.