Parrying off critics

Jeremy Johnson, Sports Editor

When it comes to sports, basketball, football, soccer, and baseball are some of the most popular choices around the world.

But what about fencing?

Fencing has been an Olympic sport since 1896 and while some high schools have invested in a fencing team, it still hasn’t received much publicity.

“[Fencing] isn’t as popular as I’d like it to be, so it doesn’t have a lot of notoriety,” Head Coach David Greene said. “I’d love to get some of the local schools involved as opposed to some of the few schools that have fencing.”

Whether or not the sport will ever get the attention it craves, remains to be seen.

All the fencers can focus on is taking things one day at a time and making memories last.

“To me, it’s really about having fun with your friends but also being interactive,” junior Tim Bray said.

In his second year, Bray is a witness of the team’s relationship every day.

While there’s room for improvement in almost anything, the team chemistry is top notch.

“Right now, we’re a perfect team as a whole,” Bray said. “We always encourage our teammates to do better. We cheer them on all the time.”

Performance-wise, there have been peaks and valleys which comes with the territory.

Finding consistency is crucial to achieving success as the season moves forward.

“We’ve had two people meet or surpass their goals,” Assistant Coach Patrick Frederickson said. “As a whole, there’ve been mixed results.”

Greene plays a role in a lot of different areas for the teams, making his presence vital.

Lots of things catch his eye, but one thing stands out above everything else.

“When a fencer looks at me and says ‘Coach, I can’t beat this guy,’ when they step onto the strip I tell them to take it one point at a time because just like in life you can’t focus on everything,” Greene said. “When they come back victorious, you can see it in their face that they’re astonished that it happened. That’s what it’s all about.”

Judging a book by its cover is one of the oldest idioms in life.

For Bray, doing just that is a path that he doesn’t want anybody to take.

Writing-off something you’ve never even tried would simply be a mistake.

“I thought it was stupid and dangerous at first but people can at least give it a try,” Bray said. “It’s really fun and people should try out. If they don’t want to join, fine. But at least come show up and give it a shot.”

Frederickson feels similarly to Bray.

“If you think badminton is a sport, if you think tennis is a sport, this is a contact sport that is competed in the Olympics,” Frederickson said. “It’s been a sport for hundreds of years, it’s one of our last connections to a world without guns and a world with class.”