Fencer Mackiewicz heading to Russia
After graduating June 1 from Westwood High, Andrew Mackiewicz flew to Costa Rica, where he was part of the gold medal-winning US sabre team at the Pan American Fencing Championships.
"I had just enough time to pack and prepare myself for the trip,'' said Mackiewicz, ranked second nationally in juniors (20-and-under) and fifth in seniors (all ages).
Now he's preparing for a much longer journey — to the World Fencing Championships in Kazan, Russia, the third week of July. He will compete in the individual sabre championships and is an alternate for team competition.
Sabre is one of three swords used in fencing competition — the others are foil and epee — and is the modern version of the slashing cavalry sword. The major difference is that sabreists can score with the edge of their blade as well as their point and the target area is the entire body above the waist, excluding the hands.
"It's my first senior World Championship, and it makes the past year with so much travel and practice worthwhile and exciting,'' said the 6-1, 180-pound Mackiewicz.
He has trained under Zoran Tulum at the Zeta Fencing Studio in Natick for the past nine years along with his close friend, US senior champion Eli Dershwitz of Sherborn.
"I've known them since they were little boys, we've traveled nationally and internationally and they're like family to me,'' said Tulum, Team USA's sabre coach. "Fencing has given them the opportunity to learn different languages and cultures and have a tremendous understanding of the world.''
Mackiewicz, who will attend NCAA fencing champion Penn State University, said he chose sabre because of its fast pace.
He also feels he's matured physically and mentally over the past several months, during which he has finished runnerup to Dershwitz at the US seniors and helped the US sabre squad take bronze at the Junior World Championships in Bulgaria.
Tulum said that Mackiewicz is "part of the spine'' of the team he is building for six years down the road.
Mackiewicz hopes to compete at the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020 with the US sabre team.
Three rising seniors on the basketball court have locked in college destinations. Sharon's Kristen Daley, a forward at The Rivers School in Weston, along with Ashley Russell, starting point guard for defending Division 1 state champion Braintree High, have committed to the University of Pennsylvania. Russell's teammate at Braintree, 6-2 forward/center Molly Reagan, is headed to Liberty University.
Daley is a two-time all-Independent School League and all-New England selection. Her older sister, Emilee, plays at Boston College.
"Kristen is a great player and has been an integral part of the Rivers School basketball program for the past three seasons. We are all very excited for her," said Rivers head coach Bob Pipe.
Weymouth Club tennis players will continue the game in college
Eleven high school seniors, who have learned, developed, and honed their tennis skills at the Weymouth Club, will continue playing at the collegiate level.
The student-athletes include: Kelly Sullivan, Needham (Sacred Heart University); Reese Linton, Hingham (St. Lawrence University); Caroline Finnegan, Duxbury (Skidmore); Jeremy Mendoza, North Easton/Boston College High (Colby College); Bart Panarese, Milton Academy (Emory University); Erika Nannery, Canton (Fairfield University); Grace Biciunas, Norwell/Notre Dame Academy (Providence College); Ashland Stansbury, Hingham (Babson); Maxine Bergstein, Hingham (Endicott College); and Emily and Sara Curtis, Milton/Ursuline Academy (Trinity College).
"We are all proud to have been part of their tennis training," said Troy Crichlow, now in his third year as the director of the Academy. The other pros at the Academy include Alberto Garcia and Calin Mateas.
"Some of the players have been involved with one of our programs at the club for 12 years," Crichlow said. "It has been very rewarding to watch these youngsters grow and develop and realize one of the dreams of their ultimate goal, which is to play tennis in college. Both the athletes and their parents have made great sacrifices over the years, and they can all be proud of their achievements. As a club, we want to thank the parents for trusting us with their sons and daughters."
Memorial scheduled Aug. 7 for Bob McCarthy, ex-Brighton coach
A memorial gathering is being planned for Bob McCarthy, the former Brighton High football and baseball coach and Harvard assistant football coach who died recently at age 79 in Raleigh, N.C. A graduate of Boston English High and Notre Dame, he was formerly commander of the Weymouth Naval Base helicopter squadron. The gathering will be held Aug. 7, at Florian Hall, Dorchester, 6-10 p.m. For information contact Billy Allen at 617-543-9207 or at email@example.com.