The Man Behind The Mask

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Michael Ruotolo received the honor of being named Fencer's Fencer at the County Championships. It is an award that is voted on by each team to name someone from another team. One votes for the fencer one most admires, not just for his or her skills, but also for his or her quality of character and exemplary sportsmanship. The fencers do not vote for their own teammates, but rather for a peer from an opposing team that they would most like to have on their team if given the choice.

Michael has been a member of the Whitman Fencing Team since seventh grade and over the years has worked up to his starting varsity position. He has always been a team player and has always demonstrated a keen desire not just to compete, but to work to be the best that he can. In addition to seeking his own self-improvement and progression in the sport by taking it up year-round and training at Mission Fencing Center in Rocky Point, NY, Michael has worked diligently with his teammates over the years to teach them and help them become as successful as he has been.

Being chosen for and receiving this award shows the impact that Michael has had upon the fencing community. The impact he has had upon his own team has been truly significant as well. As a captain, he has not just led, but has also inspired his teammates. They have often said that they wish to "be like Mike." It was in large part Michael's work with his teammates that helped them to earn medals throughout the season as individuals and as a team.

Although the County Championships did not go as planned for Michael, with his goal to get to the medal round, he still demonstrated throughout the day why he deserved to be Fencer's Fencer. He handled his wins and especially his losses his dignity, respect, and class. That is perhaps the best way to describe Michael as both a fencer and a person: He is undeniably a class act.

To know Michael is to know a fine young man, with a tremendous heart and a wicked sense of humor. He is confident, yet humble. He drives himself to achieve his goals while helping and motivating others to achieve theirs. Michael is a person to who is admired by his team members and by the entire fencing community for his fencing as well as for his strength of character. He has been a wonderful captain, an excellent team member, and, above all, a great friend to all.

Michael will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology in the fall, where he will also compete on their fencing team.

Congratulations Whitman Fencing and Michael Ruotolo!