En Gardè

Ava Palminteri, Crown Writer and Photographer

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With the winter season, comes winter sports, one of the many which take place during this frigid time is fencing. When thinking of winter sports; basketball, wrestling, and skiing might come to mind, but fencing is just as action-packed and exciting. The intense back and forth of a fencing match makes it one of the most extraordinary events to watch and a fun one to partake in.

Fencing, the sword-wielding sport, has been an activity at Marian for years. Many students participate in fencing every season. This welcoming activity may seem confusing and technical, but for the fencers who partake in it, it is fun and exhilarating. Along with the sport itself, the specific team at Marian is another reason why students enjoy it so much. “The bond I have with the team is incredible. It’s like a family and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” says Mia Smereczynski (10). With the hours of training, traveling to matches, and the bonding over interests, it’s a given a team will grow closer to each other over the time of a season. Fencing is no exception to this and it shows in the teams “family” like qualities. This welcoming atmosphere helps make it an easy and smooth transition into the season for new and old fencers alike.

With the new fencing season starting up soon, both returning and new athletes will join the team. While the returning students have some experience in the sport, most newcomers have little to no knowledge at all. Most new fencers experience difficulties, confusion, or some struggle when entering the team. However, despite some troubles, most people look forward to the start of the sport.“ This season I’m just looking forward to the meets and all the experiences me and my teammates will have together,” exclaims David Kranenburg (9). Most incoming fencers are scared about joining, which is completely normal. Starting anything new can be scary and joining a sport some don’t know a lot about can be even scarier. Still, the feeling of family in the team can help ease the tension and help get the newcomers more involved and happy to be a part of the unique sport. The new memories and experiences members have can be a great motivation to join a new sport. In fencing, where meets are far away and the team travels together, there are many opportunities to bond and make memories.

As the new fencers are learning the ropes, returning athletes can’t wait for the season to start. After getting over their first years of fencing, the students who chose to return are ready to train, compete, and hopefully win during this upcoming season. Joseph Walsdorf (10) says,“ I came back to fencing because it’s such a unique sport. Everyone who does it gets to fence their own way.” In fencing, there are three different styles (foil, saber, and epèe) that give the fencer a more personal attack. Due to this fact, athletes can feel more in control of their match and have a sense of freedom when it comes to the sport. Members who are returning already know which style they prefer and instead of learning the basics, as incoming students do, they use their time to perfect their skill in order to improve their fencing overall.

Fencing, the distinctive and individualized sport that brings students together as one; starts its season in a matter of days and the athletes who are partaking in it couldn’t be happier. The team’s familial bond welcomes both new and returning members to an exciting, active, and enjoyable environment for students to practice, compete, grow close, and to have fun.  

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