Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

“Sword In The Cake” Tournament Report

February 3

On February 3rd in Saginaw, 18 fencers from Honor Guards Fencing Club competed in the “Sword In The Cake” tournament, and they turned in not only spirited performances, but also came home with a pair of medals and the club’s first rated fencer in eight years! Most of our fencers were competing in their first sanctioned tournament, and many of them had never been in ANY competition before, but all of them put up a great fight.

The complete tournament results can be viewed on the AskFred website here:


The first event of the day was the “Division 3 (fencers with a rating of D, E, or Unclassified) Senior Women’s Foil” competition. In an event with 20 entrants, our ladies had victories in both the pool round and the direct elimination round, and definitely made their presence known.  In the final standings, our highest finisher was Kalin Benson in 13th (an epee fencer in her first foil tournament). Analiese Ginther was 15th, Samantha Jolivet 17th, and Elle Gamache 18th. All four of them are confident that what they learned at this event will insure even better performances at future tournaments. We can all be proud of the concentration, athleticism, and toughness displayed by our ladies in this event!

The next event was the “Div 3 Senior Mixed Foil” competition, with both men and women competing together. This event featured 32 competitors, 14 with D and E ratings, and the competition to earn a “C” rating was intense. HGFC had six fencers in the field, and they certainly surprised opponents who had never fenced them before, but a lack of tournament experience kept our fencers in the lower half of the finishers. Tired legs for two of our fencers (Elle and Analiese) who had just competed in the women’s foil event a few minutes before, was definitely a major factor as well. Aleister Angier, in his first competition, finished 23rd, Ammon Gibson 25th, Analiese Ginther 28th, Hap Hanna 31st, Elle Gamache 34th, and Liam Ryan’s direct elimination victory moved him up from 34th to 32nd. With so many fencers on the strip at once, I had no chance to give direct strip coaching to all of them (at one point, we had one fencer on each of the four strips!) Numerous other competitors and coaches complemented me on the intense, fearless fighting spirit of our Honor Guards fencers.

The third event of the day was a watershed moment for our club, as the “Div 3 Senior Mixed Epee” competition had 18 entrants, with 8 of them from our club. We were not only the dominant presence on the strip, but we made the podium! Kaylin Godfrey came in 18th, after fencing in what was arguably the toughest pool in the entire tournament. Kalin Benson, fencing her second event of the day, was 17th. Kalin’s younger brother Chase Benson came in 14th, after a hard-fought 12-15 loss in the DE round to a D-rated MSU fencer with ten years of experience – great day for Chase! In the middle of the field, Hap Hanna was 11th, Kaiden Yarborough 10th, Declan Ryan 8th, and Josh Martin 7th. These were solid, strong performances against rated fencers, and left a strong impression on everyone. Tyler Peckens won his pool (losing only one bout, to fellow HGFC member Kaiden Yarborough), and then went on in the DE rounds to beat Ceili Widman, President of the MSU fencing club, then beat E-rated Robert Calay and D-rated Allen Janyska to get to the finals, where he fell 9-15 to D-rated Zach Green, a fencer with 10 years of experience. Tyler not only took home the silver medal, he earned his “E” rating, and got a cake with a chocolate sword in it. What an outstanding performance – well done, Tyler!

The last event of the day was the “Y-12 Mixed Foil”, with 4 of our fencers in a field of 16. Miranda Martin, who is primarily a sabre fencer, brought her hard-charging style to the strip, and was a ferocious opponent. She lost in her DE bout to Beckett DeBord, the eventual winner, and finished 16th, but never backed down for a second, all day long. Sophia Brown, in only her third tournament, didn’t have her best day, finishing 15th, but she was extremely helpful to her clubmates as they navigated their first tournament appearances. Ambrose Ginther, despite slippery shoes, was the picture of concentration and grit, finishing 14th. Faith Benson won only one of her four pool bouts, but was very observant of her opponent’s proclivities. It paid off in the DE round, where she eliminated Nathan DeLange 15-12, after he beat her 5-3 in their pool bout! She then went on to beat the very experienced Beatrix Chavez 15-6, before losing in the Semi-Finals to Beckett DeBord, the eventual winner. She went home with a well-deserved bronze medal, a cupcake with a little metal sword, and left a dozen or so defeated opponents now very worried about the next time they have to fence her. She is a rising star, so let’s hope our club never loses Faith!

Regardless of final placements, medals, and ratings, I have immense pride in ALL of our fencers, and this tournament, with so many sporting the beautiful gold and purple HGFC patch on their shoulders, was a major “coming out party” for us. I’m eagerly looking forward to see how much we can improve for the next tournament – people in the fencing community in Michigan know us now, and they know we behave with professionalism and good manners, and none of us are afraid to take the fight to them! Go, Honor Guards!


February 3