June 23, 2004
Now it's summer in Colorado, so we're taking it easy. Last year was a great season
filled with wonderful memories, and we are trying to prepare for an even better
season next year. We finished the year ranked 15th????? in the nation. The women
won the Regional Tournament and the men finished 2nd, so I cannot complain. In
general, our fencing program here at the Air Force Academy is doing quite well.
We are proud to have helped make Seth Kelsey's dream come true -- to qualify for
the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. This proves that when good fencers come to the
Academy, they will not face any obstacles to their fencing career. On the contrary,
they will have the best opportunity to exceed their peers in fencing, which does
not exist anywhere else in the nation. The World Class Athlete Program allows
Academy graduates to completely concentratre on their training because their expenses
(travel, lodging, equipment, coaching, fees, etc) are completely taken care of.
I am also very optimistic for next season. Even though we lost 4 good seniors,
Apphia Taylor, Sean Blas, Ashley Roell, and Curtis Marshall, the depth of the
team will help us remain strong. It is a combined feeling of happiness and sadness
when these guys leave the team because I'm so proud and happy for them; but they
are moving on to do even bigger and better things in life. After 4 years of seeing
them every day, they will no longer be around. But, it feels great to know that
all of them are on a wonderful, powerful track. Apphia is going to England for
Communications. Sean and Ashley are going to Texas for training in the Intelligence
career field. I succeeded in keeping Curtis here with me for one more year as
a fencing assistant, and I'm very sure that he will be a major asset and benefit
to the team. I was also glad to find out that all 4 of them are planning to keep
fencing, so we will see them around.
The team will be ready for next season, especially with good recruits and, as
every year, good walk-ons. It is my pleasure to announce that Lt Col Taylor will
be joining our staff. He is a former varsity member of the Academy fencing team,
so he will make my life a little easier, and will benefit the team tremendously.
As I am enjoying the wonderful, relaxing summer in beautiful Colorado and spending
more time with my family, I cannot wait for the season to start. I love my team,
and I enjoy sharing my life with these wonderful young men and women.