The fight to get fencing the attention it deserves is succeeding!

Channel 5 News, the NBC affiliate in St. Louis did a nice piece on the McKendree University fencing team last night.

This was very good for so many reasons:

So many times non-fencing reporters go nuts on the swashbuckling aspects of fencing. Frank Cusumano the sports director at Channel 5 did a great job with his interviews of the fencers and the team and yes, the scholarships that are available to athletes.

The editing was very good. Television news has so little time to devote to any one story. Their skillful editing kept the report interesting and informative.

The report highlights McKendree University, a small school not typically of interest to a big city sports department. It is hard for a small Illinois school to get noticed over stories about St. Louis University and the University of Missouri big time sports programs.

When I talked the McKendree administration into letting me start the intercollegiate team there I told them we could get positive publicity for their school in the local media. One more prediction comes to fruition!

The report also mentions the Millstadt fencing team. So maybe our high school and grade schools teams will get some additional interest. We have been trying to get local high schools interested in starting fencing programs in their schools. One of my high school fencers in particular, Shelby Korobey, is a real fighter in this regard. She has a proposal before the Belleville school board meeting next Monday. The timing of this should help her/our cause.

Area fencers compete in National Championship qualifiers in Chicago

Two local college students competed in the RJCC Junior Olympic qualifiers and the ROC Div1A National Championship qualifiers hosted by Northwestern University in Chicago this weekend.


Cameron Davis finished 7th in the Senior Men’s Saber event (Division 1A National Championship qualifier). Tristan Quinton finished 15th in the same event.

Tristan finished 12th place in the Junior Men’s Saber event (RJCC Junior Olympic qualifier). Cameron Davis finished 14th in this event.

It takes a village? In addition to their private coaches, both Tristan and Cameron also train with Coach Wilson, the coach of Fencers of the Corn.

Because of the their success in these competitions, Tristan and Cam are earning points towards qualification to the USFA/U.S. Olympic Committee sponsored championships in the Junior and Division 1A categories being held in 2015.

Because of his top 8 finish in the Senior Men’s competition, Cameron earned the right to compete in the highest competitions in the United States, the United States Fencing Association Division 1 level where the Olympians compete.

Bluff Grange Trivia Night to benefit their community service programs!

Saturday November 1 at Bluff Grange. Doors open at 6:30. Play starts at 7:00.

Bluff Grange sponsors the Millstadt Venture Crew fencing team. This is their big annual fundraising effort. Without their sponsorship of the Millstadt Boy and Girl Scouts, fencing in Southern Illinois would be almost not-existent.

Please come out and help a great cause and have fun doing it!

It only costs $15 per person. In addition to the trivia games, there will be a silent auction, raffles, and attendance prizes.

McKendree University competes at Bradley University Duals

Have they set the world on fire? Not yet, but you can start to smell smoke!
In the team’s second team format competition of their inaugural season McKendree faced six schools. The McKendree team lost to Lawrence University 9-18 but defeated the University of Illinois 17-5, the University of Wisconsin 16-11, the University of Iowa 18-6, the University of Minnesota 21-6, and Bradley University 18-9.

However, many of the schools (including McKendree) came without a full roster so the team scores (which include the forfeits tally) are of limited value in characterizing the relative strength of each schools’ fencers.

On an individual basis Andrew Tolbert leads the pack with a 13-1 record on the day. Tristan Quinton in second with an 11-1 record. Ivan Lich has the 3rd best record on the team for the day with an 11-3 record. McKendree’s other fencers with winning records for the day: Cameron Davis at 9-3, Alex Smith at 10-6, and Kenneth O’Dell at 9-7. Six of the eight McKendree fencers had a personal winning record for the day.

Excellent day.

The McKendree team record stands at 9-2 for the season.

McKendree Fencers off to a running start

Ohio State

In their first competition as members of the Midwest Fencing Conference McKendree University shines at the Ohio State University Duals on October 4th.




McKendree is competing with a partial team this their first year. McKendree brought 2 foil fencers, 2 epee fencers and 3 saber fencers including Mary our only female team member. Mary is competing on the men’s team against the other schools’ men’s teams this year. A full team would be 3 or 3 plus an alternate in each weapon.

The missing fencers’ bouts are counted as forfeits in the best of 27 bout contests that make up the team competitions at Duals.

McKendree fell to Case Western Reserve 11-16 but regrouped to defeat the University of Indiana, the University of Iowa, Oakland University and Xavier University.

Some of the highlights of the day were Tristan’s 15-0 and Cameron’s 14-1 personal records.

Then it was a long drive to:

Northwestern University for the Burton Open on October 5th.





The McKendree fencers all fenced well but the day’s stand outs were Andrew who was one touch from earning his United States Fencing Association ‘B’ rating when he lost 14-15 to the eventual silver medalist in this A4 epee contest and Tristan who wins the bronze medal in saber with borrowed equipment after his was mistakenly packed away by another school’s fencer.


We did find Tristan’s gear after the competition was over.

Congratulation to all the McKendree fencers. And thank you to Mr. Hardig (Mary’s dad) for the great pictures from Northwestern!

Dallas Regional Junior and Cadet Circuit event

Fun time at a high level competition. We fenced well but no medals. Liam and Emma from Millstadt Venture Crew plus Cameron, Andrew & Mary, local college fencers training under Coach Wilson participated.

Special thanks to Mrs. Groom for all her help and to the Sweat family for letting us stay at their house in Dallas!

durant oklahomaHere we are in Durant Oklahoma the night before the first competition. Carb loading!

Cameron DavisMary Hardig
Cameron and Mary fencing saber. Cameron’s 10 place finish in Junior Men’s Saber was the group’s best.

steer statueFun Times at the Stockyards in Fort Worth Saturday night.

First Fencers of the Corn event for the combined MCK and MVC


Last weekend fencers from McKendree University and from Millstadt Venture Crew traveled together and helped each other with shared equipment, coaching and cheering each other on at the first college league fencing tournament of the 2014/2015 season hosted by St. Louis University.

Fencers participated from the University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-S&T, Southeast Missouri State University, St. Louis University, University of Central Missouri plus some unaffiliated fencers from as far away as Milan Italy.

MVC and MCK fencers
We had 5 foil fencers on Saturday. Mary, Kenny and Alex fenced for McKendree. Luke and Tiffany fenced for Millstadt. On Sunday we had 3 saber fencers and 6 epee fencers. Mary, Tristan and Cameron fenced saber for McKendree. Mary (yes again… she can’t be stopped), Andrew and Ivan fenced epee for McKendree. Rory, Emma and Daniel fenced epee for Millstadt.

We did pretty well. The highlights, Kenny takes 6th in foil. Rory takes 5th in epee. Andrew takes 6th in epee. Tristan takes 1st in saber. Cameron takes 3rd in saber. Mary takes 1st in the women’s bracket in saber.

I couldn’t be happier how well all our fencers worked together to help each other. This is going to be a wonderful partnership!

Now we are THE Booster Club for Southern Illinois & St. Louis Metro East fencing

With the addition of the McKendree University fencing team in our area, the Fencers of the Corn will serve as an umbrella group for both the McKendree University team and the Millstadt Venture Crew Girl & Boy Scout fencing team.

We will serve to coordinate both groups’ fundraising, fencing equipment, classes and coaching, schools and group demonstrations, etc.

Show-Me State Games

We were honored to be able to run the fencing tournament for the Show-Me State Games.

This year’s event was held at Columbia College in Columbia Missouri.

And we got some great press from the Columbia Missouri newspapers.

The “Columbia Missourian” published a very nice article about Corey Kilgallon, one of our fencers who competed in Saturday’s saber competition.

Click for link to Columbia Missourian article

The “Columbia Tribune” also published a very nice article about the Show-Me State Games fencing tournament including a great picture of Ms. Kilgallon fencing saber with a very good fencer from Lawrence Kansas on the front page of their Sunday Sports Section.

Click for link to Columbia Tribune article