Early Bout
Early Bout

"Dude. Really...that's all you're bringing? This is the CIF Championships. I came here to destr....oh never mind...that's a touche." 

Hammer scores a touche on Wen
Hammer scores a touche on Wen

Zack faces one of his San Francisco Fencers Club teammates, James Wen, in a preliminary bout. James fences for powerhouse Lowell and finished fourth in the tournament.

Preliminary Bout
Preliminary Bout

Zack readies to parry (and repost, no doubt) an attack from an opponent in an early preliminary bout at the CIF San Francisco Section City/League/CIF championships.

SHHS Fencing Patch
SHHS Fencing Patch

The insignia of Zack's High School Fencing Team at Stuart Hall. Fitting that they are the Knights, isn't it?

Touche
Touche

Move quickly or enjoy the touch of French Steel.

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Another Touche!
Another Touche!
Eliza and Maddie
Eliza and Maddie

A little downtime for Eliza and Madeline, Zack's teammates from Convent High School in San Francisco, Stuart Hall's sister school. Eliza grabbed the silver in the Varsity Women's competition. — at George Washington High School.

Hamer vs. Wong
Hamer vs. Wong

Wallenberg High School's Mr. Wong goes down to defeat in the Direct Eliminations. 

It isn't pretty...
It isn't pretty...

...but its a touche.

The Might Kahookele
The Might Kahookele

Zack's teammate at the San Francisco Fencer's Club, Stephanie Kahookele, fences for Lowell High School, the perennial fencing powerhouse in San Francisco. Steph took the gold medal for Varsity Women. Here she is ordering up some food from a fellow SFFC teammate (and future teammate at Northwestern University) who brought it to her! 

Glover vs. Hammer
Glover vs. Hammer

Matthew Glover, a club fencer for Halberstadt, attacks Zack in the semi-final round. Matthew fences for San Francisco Urban High School. He and Zack have fenced each other locally and nationally for three years now. Matt grabbed the bronze and Urban finished behind Stuart Hall on the season, tied for second with Lowell and University High Schools. 

Levitate!
Levitate!

Zack's superpower: levitation. Again, battling the illustrious Matthew Glover from Urban.

Glover vs. Hammer (Le Troisieme
Glover vs. Hammer (Le Troisieme

"Dude...two words: 'Breathe' and 'Mint'"

 With a pulled hamstring, Zack couldn't lunge...or, more accurately, couldn't get back up if he did, so he'd learned to get creative in his attack. Here, he utilizes the advantage of his reach

With a pulled hamstring, Zack couldn't lunge...or, more accurately, couldn't get back up if he did, so he'd learned to get creative in his attack. Here, he utilizes the advantage of his reach

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Musni vs. Hammer
Musni vs. Hammer

Zack readies for an attack in the gold medal bout from Rafael Musni, Wallenberg High School.

Musni vs. Hammer #2
Musni vs. Hammer #2

Dodges don't look graceful, but can make for some interesting athletics.

Musni vs. Hammer #3
Musni vs. Hammer #3

On his way to victory  against Rafael Musni in the gold medal bout, Zack misses his attack.

Musni vs. Hammer #4
Musni vs. Hammer #4

Its hard to battle in close proximity, so Zack is reaching behind his head to score a touche...a fairly common move. This is the gold medal bout against Rafael Musni from Wallenberg High School. Location: George Washington High School, San Francisco, CA.- April 20, 2013.

Musni vs. Hammer #5
Musni vs. Hammer #5

Again, dodging your opponent's attack can result in some interesting athletics.

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Stuart Hall: League Champions
Stuart Hall: League Champions

The Stuart Hall Varsity Men's fencing team with coach Leo Bello. Zack is still in his fencing whites because he just finished his gold medal bout...and hasn't yet even been awarded the medal. These guys went undefeated, became CIF section champions, with six out of seven fencers being freshman...five of whom had zero fencing experience before the season. Way to go Knights, way to go Coach Leo. 

Varsity Men's Trophy
Varsity Men's Trophy


The Varsity Men's Trophy...Zack's name will live in dusty old high school trophy cases for generations. Its fun to note that the blade of the fencer on the left hand side of the trophy has been broken off - its been replaced by a toothpick spray-painted gold. I wonder how many decades ago that happened...

Stuart Hall Team Enjoys Their Trophy
Stuart Hall Team Enjoys Their Trophy

The Stuart Hall Varsity Men's fencing team with coach Leo Bello. Zack is still in his fencing whites because he just finished his gold medal bout...and hasn't yet even been awarded the medal. These guys went undefeated, became CIF section champions, with six out of seven fencers being freshman...five of whom had zero fencing experience before the season. Way to go Knights, way to go Coach Leo.

Girls Varsity Champions
Girls Varsity Champions

The Girls Varsity Champions, led by their ultimate champion, Stephanie Kahookele from Lowell High School (a great kid, a great fencer). Stephanie will be matriculating to Northwestern University in the Fall of 2014 where she will illuminate their fencing program.

SF City/CIF Champion
SF City/CIF Champion

Zack Hammer, freshman at Stuart Hall High School, receives his gold medal as the All CIty Men's Varsity Fencing Champion.

  Zack and the other Varsity Men's medalists. From L-R: Matthew Glover, Urban High School(3rd); James Wen, Lowell High School (4th)Zack Hammer, Stuart Hall High School (1st); Ofri Harlev, Lowell High School (5th); Rafael Musni, Wallenberg High School (2nd).

Zack and the other Varsity Men's medalists. From L-R: Matthew Glover, Urban High School(3rd); James Wen, Lowell High School (4th)Zack Hammer, Stuart Hall High School (1st); Ofri Harlev, Lowell High School (5th); Rafael Musni, Wallenberg High School (2nd).

Sweet Success
Sweet Success

Enjoying the sweet perfume of vistory.

Portrait of a Champion and his Mom
Portrait of a Champion and his Mom

After a long hard day, Zack poses with his mom, Cherie, in the yard at San Francisco's Washington High, with the Golden Gate Bridge adding some adornment in the background.