Category Archives: Sports

Everest Gymnastics Speaks To Us About Getting Better In the Gym

Everest Gymnastics
Everest Gymnastics recently allowed their coaches and staff to chat with us about safety in the gym. Here, we will share some of this insight, which also covers ways to improve on the road toward success in gymnastics.

Q: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. With the Olympics just about a year away, gymnastics has become a hot topic.

Everest Gymnastics: Absolutely! Though it seems there is plenty of time between now and then, the Olympics are on the forefront of our and our athlete’s minds every day.

Q: There is no doubt about that. We have asked to talk to you today so that we can share your expertise with our parents who have children interested in gymnastics. Specifically, we like to talk about safety and ways to improve form and skill.

Everest Gymnastics: Safety is absolutely and without question the number one priority of any gymnastics coach. We applaud you for wanting to put that information out to your readers.

Q: With that in mind, what are a few things you recommend to help keep young athletes safe?

Everest Gymnastics: First, we would suggest talking to their pediatrician. While gymnastics is certainly a sport available to all, it never hurts to discuss a child’s physical abilities and body composition before jumping, bending, and twisting.

Q: Absolutely, and we agree completely. Once a student does begin, what are some things they can do to condition themselves for action?

Everest Gymnastics: Exercise! Gymnastics is a very physically demanding sport, and improving your body, including your respiratory system, muscles, and joints, will make things that much safer, especially for young students or those who have never been particularly active.

Q: What about stretching? When you watch the Olympics on TV, you see athletes stretching quite a bit of on the sidelines. Is that something you recommend?

Everest Gymnastics: Without a doubt, yes. Students are encouraged to stretch before each class, and they can help keep their bodies in great shape if they stretch at home, especially after a warm shower.

Q: Looking at the pictures of Everest Gymnastics, we see you have quite a bit of equipment for student use. Do you have any recommendations on equipment for use at home?

Everest Gymnastics: We try to encourage our students to practice only when they are with an instructor. However, there are many pieces of fitness equipment that can come in handy since we do want our athletes to exercise and stretch on their “off” days. Your child’s pediatrician or coaches may be able to help you determine what pieces are best for age-appropriate physical conditioning.

Q: Let’s talk about injuries. Even with safety precautions, getting hurt is a possibility. How do you recommend that students get back into gymnastics after being out because of an injury?

Everest Gymnastics: Slow and steady. The body has a remarkable way of healing itself, but it needs time to do that. After a break, strain, or sprain, it is best to ease back into a routine. We would never encourage even an advanced athlete to begin full training on their first day back in the gym.

Q: Is it safe to learn gymnastics by watching YouTube videos?

Everest Gymnastics: That is sort of a double-sided question. On one hand, watching videos of other athletes can help students see how forms look when they are put together in a choreographed routine. On the other hand, the best way to learn gymnastics is to enroll in a class. This will allow your child the benefit of hands-on instruction and the chance to learn proper techniques.

Q: We appreciate you taking the time out to speak with us today, and you have given us a lot to think about. Thank you again.

Everest Gymnastics: Any time, and we only hope that any of the advice we have offered will benefit someone and help to encourage a lifetime love of gymnastics.

Gary McClure Discusses Past Awards

Gary McClure When APSU’s head baseball coach Gary McClure retired in 2015, he did so as a record-breaking leader, winning an 847 games in 27 seasons. We recently sat down with a very humble Gary McClure, who claims his record was built on the foundation of dedicated and talented student athletes.

Zrylw: We are very excited to speak with you today. You are considered by many the best coach in OVC history.

Gary McClure: Thank you very much for that compliment. I will tell you like i have many others, i’m a much better coach when i have good players. I’m certainly no rocket scientist, but that’s one thing i was smart enough to figure out.

Zrylw: During your time with the Governors, you had a number of great years. Do any of them stand out more than others?

Gary McClure: Yes, to be honest there are several that stay etched pretty deep in memory. Truthfully, i just feel fortunate and honored to have the opportunity to work with young people.

Zrylw: Why is that?

Gary McClure: Well, you can’t beat making an impact on young people’s lives while having the opportunity to do something you love and at the same time make your living and get paid for it.

Zrylw: That’s great and sounds unbelievable…

Gary McClure: It really was. I can’t tell you how good it made me feel.

Zrylw: That is really remarkable. 

Gary McClure: Like i said, i was blessed to have these opportunities. It makes it even more significant when you have young men work so hard to try and reach their potential as athletes. I was very fortunate to know that most of my players made it a priority to excel.

Zrylw: Like Dobbs?

Gary McClure: Absolutely, Jeremy basically went from being a non factor one year to our programs eighth Pitcher of the Year the next. So many guys were able to make themselves great players.

Zrylw: Along with Shawn Kelley…

Gary McClure: That’s right. Dobbs was actually the first after Kelley won the award in 2007.

Zrylw: With your Coach of the Year distinction in 2011, you tied Jim Ward, right?

Gary McClure: I guess i have never really thought about it, but i guess i did.

Zrylw: What was it about the 2011 team that made all of these honors special?

Gary McClure: Any honor or award is special. What stands out about the 2011 group is that there were no senior position players starting. We were also just a .500 club until about two thirds of the way through the season and then they matured in a hurry and went on a terror winning most of the games during the rest of the season. That’s pretty unusual when you realize that we closed the year 30-22 and actually locked up the conference championship with 6 games left in the season..

Zrylw: Tell us a little about Reed Harper…

Gary McClure: Reed was a sophomore short stop at the time. Along with first-baseman John Hogan, Reed received first-team All-OVC honors. He had just had an amazing season, with a 29-game hitting streak. He brought so many things to the table offensively and defensively along with being one of the greatest competitors i ever coached. He had intangibles that many players don’t.

Zrylw: What about second-team honors?

Gary McClure: We had four: Jordan Hankins, Zach Toney, Michael Blanchard, and Greg Bachman.

Zrylw: Hadn’t Greg Bachman been out for a while with a shoulder injury?

Gary McClure: You’re right. He missed the previous season and actually started 2011 slow. He must have completely healed by the end of the season though, because he rounded out the year with a 43 RBIs and seven home runs! He was playing at an extremely high level and played a big role as a leader on that team. He was most certainly what i call a giver and not a taker. I really loved Greg as a player and a person.

Zrylw: Hankins had multiple acknowledgements in 2011, didn’t he?

Gary McClure: Yes, he also earned All-Freshman team recognition along with being named to Louisville Sluggers Freshman All American Team. He finished the season .378, which was the best among qualifying freshman players. He also hit a game winning home run against Georgia Tech in the NCAA Regional that year. Hankins was a great hitter from the first day he stepped on our campus.

Zrylw: Who else made All-Freshman?

Gary McClure: Rolando Gautier and Matt Wollenzin.

Zrylw: It sounds like 2011 really was a memorable year.

Gary McClure: Most definitely. And one that I am proud to have been a part of.

Gary McClure later told us that retirement hadn’t dulled his interest in baseball and that he continues to follow the Governors and will most likely get back in the game at some point. He looks forward to seeing more of his former players in the MiLB and the MLB in the future.

Paul Savramis Talks about the Mission of Rising Stars

Paul Savramis founded Rising Stars in 1996 with one major goal in mind: to develop a yearly program that would enrich the lives of youth from a variety of backgrounds and have an impact in the way that they would develop. Today, Paul Savramis is pleased to see his original vision carried out in Rising Stars’ daily activities. The number of successful graduates who return to help with Rising Stars is a great testimony to the value of Paul Savramis’ original vision. Below, Paul Savramis answers some frequently asked questions about the mission of Rising Stars.

Q: What are the main goals of Rising Stars?

Paul Savramis: Our mission statement includes the words “education” and “values.” Overall, our mission is to utilize sports to enrich the minds of our young participants to better prepare them for the future.

Q: How do you view basketball as connected to education and values?

Paul Savramis: Athletics in general teach children the values of teamwork sportsmanship and the importance of being prepared. Many educators would agree that almost all learning is accomplished at an early age more so through play than in the classroom. What young minds are taught during that time and how is vitally important. Basketball is the vehicle by which we use play to form a foundation of learning. Almost all educational theories can be found lying somewhere on a basketball court.

Q: What is the age range of Rising Stars participants?

Paul Savramis: We introduce children to basketball as early as Kindergarten through clinics that are mostly motor learning. We begin enrolling them into the program and on to teams beginning in the third grade and continuing to the collegiate level.

Q: Why are teams so important?

Paul Savramis: Teams encourage participants to work with each other to achieve goals. One of our shirts has the word T.E.A.M on the back with a circle of hands. The words, ”Together Everyone Achieves More help us to promote the importance of working together. We don’t believe in the “each man for himself” way of thinking. Participants in Rising Stars learn to be just excited over a teammate’s success as their own. Learning to accept victory and share defeat are also important byproducts.

Q: We hear that Rising Stars is “much more than a basketball camp.” Explain the other values you emphasize.

Paul Savramis: We promote education and integrity in the hopes of encouraging youth to become productive, responsible members of society. Through basketball and the power of teams we seek to instill the values in life that children need when making important decisions and facing the many challenges that occur throughout the formative years.

Q: When you say that Rising Stars promotes education, what do you mean?

Paul Savramis: From the very beginning we stress in our students the importance of completing high school and going on to college. All of our student athletes are asked to review classes with their coaches’ and we look at progress reports and report cards together. We provide support to those that need it.We also require a commitment of community service.

Q: What if your student has dreams of exiting high school and going directly to the NBA?

Paul Savramis: We certainly don’t want to squash anyone’s dreams, but we try to use the example that even for an NBA star, an education is important. College basketball is a great place to be recruited to the NBA, if a student does well, and in the meantime that student can get a great education that will last beyond the average playing years of a professional athlete. We also utilize the NCAA and other professional organizations as partners to make that point.

Q: You’ve brought in a couple of big names to reinforce that point. Tell us about those.

Paul Savramis: In the past we were able to have some collegiate coaches speak to our groups, as well as big names like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. It’s one thing to hear a Rising Stars coach emphasize the importance of staying in school, but when a professional player coach or other famous person is telling you, the message seems to get across a little better.

Q: Your program also encourages parents to participate. How does that work?

Paul Savramis: That is a great question. We believe that the behaviors and lessons we’re teaching can help the child at home, school, and later in life. Because of that, having the parents’ support is invaluable. We encourage families to participate in the work we do and we ask them to sign an agreement that outlines how we will work together. We also encourage a child’s role in the community. In today’s world the challenges that a child will face should never be faced alone. The true power of a team is one that utilizes all of its potential members. For us that includes parents and teachers working together with coaches

Paul Savramis is a respected program founder and basketball camp instructor who has touched many lives through his basketball camps. With a Master’s degree from Queens College in New York, Paul Savramis has an education in physical education, child psychology, and special education that gives him a unique perspective on youth sports. Paul Savramis’ successful programs include Eastern Invitational Basketball Camp and Rising Stars, two programs that continue to thrive today.

NASCAR Enthusiast Dan Sciscente Talks About Stock Car Science

Zrylw recently had the chance to talk to long time race fan Dan Sciscente, who says that many people are surprised to learn that physics is a key component to racing.

Zrylw: Good morning and thank you for speaking with us.

Dan Sciscente: My pleasure, I never miss the chance to talk about my favorite things.

Zrylw: We understand that one of your favorite pastimes is racing. Specifically, we hear you are fascinated by the cars themselves?

Dan Sciscente: I have always been a fan of both NASCAR and Formula 1 racing. I enjoy seeing how the machine performs and how the crew must work together to finish the race.

Zrylw: Racing isn’t a one-man show.

Dan Sciscente: Most people don’t look at it that way. People who aren’t fans see a car, a driver, and someone that changes the tires. In fact, the crew on the track is traditionally made up of six people.

Zrylw: And what about the science behind the cars? They aren’t NASCAR-ready off the line, are they?

Dan Sciscente: The cars start out like any other. Jeff Gordon drives a Chevy Impala. While these cars are known to drive pretty fast on the road, without engineers to make modifications to the body, the engine, the cooling system, the fuel system etc., his car would be no faster than any other person’s.

Zrylw: Can you tell us what the body has to do with the speed?

Dan Sciscente: Aerodynamics is everything. The body must be designed in a way that it doesn’t lift off the ground like an airplane. Engineers have to design the vehicle so that the air around it pushes it down. It’s a physics games, really; one that the driver never wants to lose.

Zrylw: Really? That’s very interesting.

Dan Sciscente: The whole idea of making cars slice through the air faster came back in 1960 when Junior Johnson discovered that if he “tailed” the driver in front, his own car moved a little faster.

Zrylw: And this led to drivers, as well as their crew, managers, and NASCAR scientists, to make cars that could handle prolonged drafting…

Dan Sciscente: It did, yes. In addition to having a smooth body to handle the extra speed, the car must also have an efficient cooling system. When the rear car is so close to the back of the draft provider, he gets very little air to his engine.

Zrylw: And no air makes an engine run hot…

Dan Sciscente: So the engineers have to come up with new ways to keep the engine, oil, and water cool. One of the simplest ways they found to have the driver rock the car side to side to let air enter one side. This buys some valuable drag time.

Zrylw: Wouldn’t that slow the car down?

Dan Sciscente: It does but when the gauges say fire, there’s not a man in the world who’d risk it for a couple of split seconds.

Zrylw: It sounds like there is really a lot more to racing than what people see on the surface. We thank you for sharing this with is today and look forward to speaking with you in the future.

Dan Sciscente: My pleasure.

Dan Sciscente is a Canadian-based PMP and software developers. He devotes much of his spare time to watching races, driving fast cars, and studying how they work.

Garrett Hoelscher Speaks about CrossFit’s Many Benefits

Zrywl recently caught up with Garrett Hoelscher, an exercise enthusiast and follower of the CrossFit method of strength training, to get the inside scoop on this relatively new fitness program.

Zrywl: Thank you for joining us today. We’ve been wondering what all the talk was about. CrossFit is everywhere here lately.

Garrett Hoelscher: That’s because it is so effective; it’s a program that you can follow every day, never get bored, and wake up each morning ready to find out the WOD.

Zrywl: WOD?

Garrett Hoelscher: Workout of the Day. It’s basically a series of motions the gym plans. Followers actually post their times, weights, and reps online to see who is the fittest that day.

Zrywl: Oh, so a little friendly competition?

Garrett Hoelscher: You bet. That is one of the coolest aspects of the workout. You get to compare yourself to others and see where you rank each day.

Zrywl: Very interesting. How did CrossFit come about?

Garrett Hoelscher: Back in 1995 a man names Greg Glassman opened up a little gym in Santa Cruz. Today, there are over 3,500 CrossFit certified training facilities across the nation.

Zrywl: That’s a very fast rate of growth.

Garrett Hoelscher: The gym also advocates a Paleolithic diet.

Zrywl: Can you explain that? It sounds like something from the caveman era…

Garrett Hoelscher: Well, you’re actually right about that. Most people are surprised to find out that today’s current diets are terrible for our human anatomy. We eat way too much processed food and our bodies are fighting back with reactions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Zrywl: Really? What kinds of foods are consistent with the CrossFit ideology?

Garrett Hoelscher: You’ve been to a grocery store – you know the outside isles are the perishable products and the inside isles are boxes and bags. Avoid those inside isles and focus on the perimeter and you’ll basically have the foundation for a Paleo diet. Lots of greens, lean meats, and low glycemic carbs are a pretty good start.

Zrywl: How hard is this diet and exercise program to follow?

Garrett Hoelscher: Not as hard as you’d think once you get your mind geared toward a new way of thinking. They say that after 21 days something becomes a habit – I think three weeks of forcing something is nothing compared to a lifelong opportunity to benefit health-wise. Not to mention, for those with children, teaching future generations how the body should look and feel.

Zrywl: This is all completely fascinating.

Garrett Hoelscher: There is a great deal of scientific research to back up both the diet and workout regime. Of course, nothing is without it critics and I’d suggest each individual consult their family doctor before making any drastic changes over night.

Zrywl: It looks like we are out of time for the day. Thank you, Garrett. This has been a conversation that we are sure our readers can ponder for quite some time.

Garrett Hoelscher: My pleasure.

Markus Lattner Talks About His Love for Racing

Markus Lattner may take his job as an improvement manager for a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) farm seriously, but he knows the value of a hobby about which he feels passionate. For Markus Lattner, a love for racing came early, while racing with his father in Austria.

Markus Lattner’s father was passionate about racing as well. In fact, Lattner fondly recalls joining his father as he worked with the Austrian Rally scene. Watching his father support drivers at the beginning of their careers taught Markus Lattner the importance of hard work and perseverance.

Today, Markus Lattner tells us what he enjoys most about rally racing, which is still a family affair.

Zrylw: When it comes to rally racing, you aren’t just a fan. You also work on the technical side, right?

Markus Lattner: I’ve repaired and helped build cars for the races. My brother owns his own business building and repairing cars for the sport, so we both have a special interest in it.

Zrylw: What’s one of the things you like most about this sport?

Markus Lattner: I love the fact that it stays true to its roots. Rally racing is one of few sports committed to its history. Rally racing features cars like you and I drive on roads like the ones you and I ride on every single day.

Zrylw: Rally races also have co-pilots. That isn’t seen in other forms of racing.

Markus Lattner: The co-pilot helps the driver by telling them where to Drive and what the next turn is and at which optimum speed it can be taken.

Zrylw: Like a GPS?

Markus Lattner: A human navigation system, yes.

Zrylw: Have you ever done ride-alongs?

Markus Lattner: As a kid I would sometimes ride along with the drivers. I can’t tell you how great the experience was.

Zrylw: What did you learn from these?

Markus Lattner: I saw firsthand just how alert and experienced these drivers must be. Professional racing is far more than steering a car and pressing a gas pedal. It’s hard work.

Zrylw: Did you ever want to be a driver yourself?

Markus Lattner: What boy wouldn’t? But I learned so much working with the support team, and as I got older I ended up putting that knowledge to use in the business world.

Zrylw: How so?

Markus Lattner: When you’re working with the pit crew, you see how slimmed-down and efficient the process is.

Zrylw: Is this where you learned the lean manufacturing you speak about today?

Markus Lattner: It provided the core principles, yes. A pit crew has to be on top of everything. There’s no wasting time or working with clutter. It’s the same philosophy I apply to my work with manufacturers.

Markus Lattner has a love for the environment and brings that love to the sport of rally racing. He points to advancements in car safety and technologies that were developed with the sport and helped to improve them for everyday cars.

Theodore Stroukoff Explains what Aspiring Figure Skaters Should Know

Theodore Stroukoff saw many starry-eyed young figure skaters while working as a skating coach for twenty-seven years. While Theodore Stroukoff says many of those skaters simply enjoyed learning to gracefully glide across the ice, others had aspirations of becoming the next Michelle Kwan. But Theodore Stroukoff cautions parents that the road to Olympic gold is a long, bumpy one.

It’s a road that usually begins at a young age, Theodore Stroukoff states. If someone is sixteen or seventeen when he or she begins learning to figure skate, the chances are slim that that child will ever see the Olympics. While competing in national and international competitions is certainly not the only reason to pursue figure skating lessons, Theodore Stroukoff acknowledges that this usually justifies the large expense that goes into lessons.

The U.S. Figure Skating Association estimates that the average annual expense for figure skating is $9,000-$10,000 for children learning the sport. This is primarily due to the cost of private lessons, Theodore Stroukoff explains, which require the parent to pay for ice time and the coach’s time. By the time a child is competing at the novice level, the annual expense is estimated to be closer to $35,000 to $40,000 a year, according to Theodore Stroukoff.

Theodore Stroukoff also notes that the payoff isn’t greater than the payout. Even among champions, pay is lower than other sports, Theodore Stroukoff states. The prize for a singles skater in the 2011 World Championships was only $45,000. Olympic medalists can earn money through endorsements and shows, Theodore Stroukoff reports, but many figure skaters do it for love of the sport, not money.

Part of the cost for figure skating includes costumes and custom-fitted ice skates, which must be regularly replaced for avid skaters. But the true expense is in time and sweat, Theodore Stroukoff emphasizes. A dedicated figure skater books ice time daily, often getting up early in the morning to practice. Theodore Stroukoff saw many students who weren’t quite able to commit to that level of dedication long-term.

There are many other opportunities for figure skaters, Theodore Stroukoff describes, including local and regional competitions that have no age limit. Theodore Stroukoff has seen adults in their twenties, thirties, and beyond take up figure skating for the first time and compete locally as a hobby. Not only is figure skating great exercise, Theodore Stroukoff points out, it also gives the skater a sense of personal achievement to conquer such a challenging sport.

Gregory Leb Talks About the Beauty of Ponte Vedra

Located just eighteen miles from downtown Jacksonville, Florida, Ponte Vedra Beach is miles of beautiful, sandy beach among the much-loved Jacksonville beaches. For Gregory Leb, Ponte Vedra provides a great escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Jacksonville, where he has worked as national account manager for Sissine’s Office Systems for the past five years.

Known as the home of the ATP Tour, PGA Tour, and The Players Championship, Ponte Vedra Beach is reportedly the home of several professional golfers, including Bob Duval, David Duval, Fred Funk, and Jim Furyk, Gregory Leb says. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem also calls Ponte Vedra home. The area is popular for golf, partly thanks to a high-quality plot of land called Sawgrass development, according to Gregory Leb. Gregory Leb remembers when the city offered half of the property to the commissioner of the PGA Tour at the time for only a dollar. Gregory Leb says the one-dollar deal brought all of these golf groups to Ponte Vedra, which in turn increased national interest in the touristy area.

Other famous Ponte Vedra residents, according to Gregory Leb, are Kim Alexis, football player Tony Boselli, and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. Gregory Leb points out that the area is home to two highly rated resorts—Ponte Vedra Inn and Club and the Lodge and Club. Most of the beaches in Ponte Vedra have limited public access, Gregory Leb relates, allowing Ponte Vedra residents to enjoy privacy and exclusivity.

Gregory Leb’s home of Ponte Vedra has a population listed as 35,400 in 2005, the same year Ponte Vedra was a finalist for CNN’s and Money Magazine’s list of the best places to live. Gregory Leb says it was one of only four areas in the state of Florida to make the finalist list.

About Gregory Leb

Gregory Leb, Sissine’s Office Systems’ national account representative, is committed to a simple motto, “Live well, and serve well.” An avid car collector and longtime cross fitness enthusiast, Gregory Leb has lived his life with a focus toward appreciating common things and embracing his good fortune.

Every man needs a man. For Gregory Leb that man was his stepfather who was a boxer in the Navy.  Gregory Leb was naturally drawn to athletics as most young men are. For Gregory Leb athletics included the study of boxing. Encouraged by his parents, he started his boxing career with the Jacksonville, Florida police athletic league, working his way up to Super Middle Weight by his mid-teens. Gregory Leb continues a health oriented lifestyle that includes boxing which he says could add up to more than twenty-nine years physical fitness that has included boxing. Among his sports heroes he includes boxing greats such as Manny Pacquiao, Mohammed Ali, and Roy Jones, Jr. Gregory Leb continues to be active in a local Jacksonville gym specializing in martial arts, and self-defense; disciplines that benefit from Greg’s early passion for boxing.

Gregory Leb has been employed by Sissine’s Office Systems since 2006. As national account manager, he represents the Northwest Florida and South Georgia region’s top supplier of Lanier and Copystar brand copiers. Sissine’s has been in business for 25 years, with an emphasis on providing office automation solutions to businesses. Prior to his employment with Sissine’s Office Systems, Gregory Leb was a freelance marketing coordinator for Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida and marketing director for Lamborghini North America in Jacksonville Florida. During his time with Lamborghini, Leb was able to secure a deal with Universal for eight television shows with the Diablo Roadster. A life well lived indeed.

Gregory Leb’s interest in cars extends far beyond his employment with Lamborghini. He regularly participates in specialized auto racing around the country. He is a member of car clubs and has inherited a passion for collecting both vintage and new sports cars from his father who is also a car collector.

In addition to his love of cars, Gregory Leb also has a deep love for golden retrievers. He has a golden retriever named Molly who is two-and-a-half years old, which he bought from a breeder in Georgia. He and Molly live in Pointe Vedra Beach, right outside of Jacksonville.

As busy as he is, Gregory Leb puts a high priority on his charitable work. He is involved with the Mary Saulzbacher Homeless Shelter in Jacksonville, as well as Second Harvest Food Bank’s Lutheran Social Services. He supports both United Way and Cathedral Foundation Meals on Wheels.

Fitness, passion and charity have combined to shape a life that does embrace his simple motto; live well, serve well.

Fencing Talk with Catherine Case Szarwark: Why Fencing Is Good For Everyone

An avid fencer, Catherine Case Szarwark appreciates the sport for its precise balance between physical fitness and mental alertness. According to Catherine Case Szarwark, fencing is as much a mental challenge between two opponents as it is a physical competition. Another facet of fencing that Catherine Case Szarwark values is its gender equality. In the international sport of fencing, notes Catherine Case Szarwark, men and women compete equally. In fact, Catherine Case Szarwark finds fencing to be a particularly good sport for girls to take up, because they develop their natural physical coordination sooner than boys. In addition to physical coordination, Catherine Case Szarwark says that girls are also free from the cultural prejudice of a macho persona, which tends to distract boys from the finer mental points of the sport.

In fencing, says Catherine Case Szarwark, brute strength and speed alone cannot defeat mental clarity and coordination. Fencing is a precise sport, points out Catherine Case Szarwark, and subtlety can score just as well as strength. Though fencing is particularly popular in Europe, only a few schools in the United States teach fencing. This is one reason why Catherine Case Szarwark found it necessary to travel abroad to join international fencing competitions. According to Szarwark, European fencing societies host competitions more often than American fencing societies. Fencing clubs or private academies dominate the American fencing circuit with specialized instructors, and Catherine Case Szarwark notes that fencing in the United States is more prevalent at institutions of higher education.

While attending Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee, Catherine Case Szarwark rose to the highest-ranking American epee fencer in the under-17 age category.  Her fencing for the American team took Catherine Case Szarwark to Italy and Germany, and Szarwark spent time at the United States Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she trained alongside Olympic hopefuls from all over the United States.

In her senior year at Penn State University, Catherine Case Szarwark’s fencing team won the National Championship Tournament.

About Catherine Case Szarwark

For Catherine Case Szarwark, accomplishments came early in life. While friends were hoping to adapt to middle school, Catherine Case Szarwark found her passion. Szarwark started fencing in the sixth grade when a mini-fencing class was offered for physical education. She discovered that she loved it and possessed a rare talent.  Catherine Case Szarwark’s parents were supportive and her path to success began.

Catherine Case Szarwark spent six years at the Nashville Fencing Academy where she developed into one of the finest fencers in the country.  While attending Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee, Catherine Case Szarwark rose to the highest-ranking American epee fencer in the under-17 age category.  Her fencing for the American team took Catherine Case Szarwark to Italy and Germany, and Szarwark spent time at the United States Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she trained alongside Olympic hopefuls from all over the United States.

Upon graduation from high school, Catherine Case Szarwark elected to attend Penn State University where she fenced under the legendary Coach Emmanuil Kaidanov.  There, Szarwark compiled a record of 149 wins against only 35 losses, for an 81.0% winning percentage.  This remains the sixth-best in the storied history of fencing at Penn State University.  Catherine Case Szarwark earned all America honors three times, and was the captain of the Women’s Epee team in 2006-2007 when Penn State University won the NCAA National Championship. In speaking of this team, Coach Kaidanov singled out Catherine Case Szarwark for her leadership and dedication.

Catherine Case Szarwark also earned All Academic Big Ten honors, and finished with a 3.4 grade point average at Penn State University.  Szarwark now lives in New York City and has taught fencing at the New York Athletic Club. She works at NYU School of Medicine and is involved in Junior League of New York.

BSR Gun Shop Is a Haven for Gun Enthusiasts

Gun enthusiasts in the bi-state area are always looking for a good spot to satisfy their gun needs. They need premium ammunition and cleaning supplies. They need the newest models and the classic models. Most importantly, they need a community of professional firearm enthusiasts like the staff at BSR Gun Shop.

With backgrounds in everything from municipal law enforcement to international military service, the employees at BSR Gun Shop are familiar with your needs. BSR Gun Shop maintains an enormous inventory of guns, ammunition, and related supplies. BSR Gun Shop also provides the services of a fantastic indoor shooting range. BSR Gun Shop offers a community of knowledgeable experts for you to trade stories and gather information about your local gun culture.

The experts at BSR Gun Shop cater to all levels of experience from first time shooters to war veterans with impressive hobby collections. BSR Gun Shop has a huge selection of handguns, rifles, and shotguns – both new and used. Their services go far beyond. BSR Gun Shop also offers police equipment, competition equipment, ultra-sonic gun cleaning, and custom gunsmithing. If you live in the bi-state area, you owe it to yourself to pay BSR Gun Shop a visit.  With a wealth of inventory and information, BSR Gun Shop is a haven for gun enthusiasts.


BSR Gun Shop
209 North Illinois Street (Highway 159)
Belleville, Illinois 62220
IL: (618) 234-9690
MO: (314) 368-4867
Fax: (618) 236-2551