Meet The Team

A dedicated team who strive to foster a culture of Honor, Chivalry, and Respect


Michael McTigue Head Coach

Coach McTigue began his fencing career in the 70’s as an NCAA foil fencer under the coaching of Hungarian Maestro Csaba Elthes. In the 90's Coach McTigue studied under renowned Russian epee Maestro Albert Chikayev. Maestro Chikayev, who trained multiple world and Olympic champions, was Coach McTigue’s mentor for almost a decade and developed him into a coach as well as a championship winning veteran fencer. Michael is a multiple time gold medalist in the New Jersey Senior Olympics epee competition and multiple time silver medalist in the sabre and foil competitions. He is also a multiple time NJ Cup Veterans Epee Champion and a rated referee for all three weapons.  He has been head epee coach at Lilov Fencing Academy for 8 years.

 

MICHAEL's NOTABLE STUDENTS:

   Alen Hazic – 2 Time NJ High School Champion, US Junior Olympics Champion, Junior         World Cup, Montreal: Bronze Medal

    Lucas DellaBella — 2014 NJ High School Champion

    Jacqueline Barnes – 2011 US National Championships: Div III Bronze Medal

    Jacqueline Barnes – 2012 NJ State Individual Champion runner-up

 

Coach McTigue has been the Head Coach of the Montclair High School Team since 2005 supervising 2 other coaches and over 90 team members.  Under his guidance Montclair has developed a consistently competitive program netting nine district weapon champions, four state individual champions, five state individual silver medalists, three epee squad state championships, a junior Olympic champion, a national junior team member, 12 top 10 individual state championship finishers, 10 top 3 finishers in the district weapon squad championships, qualified 22 separate squads for state squad championships and taken top 3 finishes 5 times in the last 3 years. The boy’s sabre squad was the 2011 Cetrulo Team Relay Sabre State Champions and the girl’s epee squad the 2012 District 3 Champions. The 2011 overall boy’s team finished 2nd in the New Jersey State Team Championships with a 13-2 record for the season. The 2013 and 2014 boy’s epee squad won the Cetrulo Team Relay Championship, the District 3 championship and the state championship 2 years in a row. The girl’s epee squad won the 2016 epee squad state championship.

 

Coach McTigue was voted High School Fencing Coach of the Year four times in 2011 by the coaches of the New Jersey Interscholastic Fencing Association, by the NJSIAA, by the NJSCA, and by The Star Ledger. Michael has also served as a Head Coach at the Montclair State University Gifted and Talented summer program in 2010 and 2011. In 2015 Coach McTigue was given the NJSIAA Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to New Jersey high school fencing.


Board of directors

SFC is led by a board of directors who set the vision for the organization and provide leadership.

  • Randy Harnisch, President
  • Melisse Cunningham, Secretary
  • Abby Weisenhaus, Treasurer
  • Cristina Ford
  • Heather Poole

A Thank You... 

To those who have gone before us, paving the way. Below are a few of these key people, to whom we are forever grateful.

Michael Heggen (founder -2013), Joshua Keatley (coach 2006-2009), David Keatley (coach), Joshua Fowler (coach 2013-2014), Jill Summers (former Executive Director 2008-2015), Emma Brewer-Wallin (coach 2012-2015),  Mary Keatley (coach 2012-2015)

Salem Fencing Club, once Salem Classical Fencing.

Our organization was founded in late 2003 as Salem Classical Fencing, to promote and support classical fencing in the Salem area. Our organization was founded by Michael Heggen, who began fencing under Maestro James V. Ciaramitaro at Willamette University. The club grew out of a local YMCA program into a self-sustaining, independent organization supported by local fencers who are not only interested in fencing with each other, but who also share a keen desire to share the sport with others.

Our main focus has remained the same since our founding: to teach the sport of fencing. Unlike a for-profit business, however, fencing is not an end in itself - it is a vehicle for teaching our core values of honor, chivalry, and respect. We use fencing as a way to find solutions for challenges in our community, and to provide opportunities for growth and leadership.

In 2013, the club board voted to change the organization's name to Salem Fencing Club to accompany a new look and to better reflect its mission and program offerings. We continue to evolve, bringing new coaches and fostering new partnerships with other clubs in the area to enable our fencers to reach their full potential.