Students hope to make the cut at USA Fencing National Championships

Students hope to make the cut at USA Fencing National Championships

Sophomore Morgan Jones (right) lunges at junior James Mews during a fencing demonstration. The demonstration was one part of a pep rally showcase on students who participate in sports outside of JC.

Megan Battaglia, Multimedia Editor

Épées are clashing, an opponent is struck, and a point is gained.

No, this is not medieval sword fighting, it’s fencing.  This sport usually goes unnoticed. However, a few JC students do take part in it.

Freshman Erika Lipford, sophomore Morgan Jones, and junior James Mews all participate on the fencing team at the Maryland Fencing Club.

But when school ends, fencing doesn’t.  This summer, Lipford, Jones, and Mews will be fencing at nationals in Reno, Nevada.  To prepare, they attend practice about three times a week with additional practice outside of the studio.

Because fencing is an individual sport and victory is not based upon the team’s scores combined, individual skills and techniques are especially important.

Fencing tournaments are formatted so that the players are selected for each match based on their ranking.

Players are then placed into a pool where they fence to five touches or partake in three minute bouts with other fencers depending on the size of the competition.

After all of the bouts are finished, players are placed in a direct elimination bracket and fence 15 touches or go nine minutes with a one minute break in between. If the player loses their direct elimination, then they are out of the competition.

“The structure of fencing may seem complicated at first, but is easy to adjust to,” Lipford said.

What most fencers enjoy about the sport is that fencing is both a physical and mental sport.

“Fencing has become part of my life over the years. It requires the deep thinking of chess, to predict and counter the moves of your opponent, and the speed, endurance, and strength of football or soccer, because you are continuously moving on the strip,” Lipford said.

Several years ago, JC had a fencing team. All three students agree that if the fencing program was re-introduced to JC, they would be more than happy to join and help others learn the sport of fencing. “I definitely would love to have a fencing club at John Carroll. It would be a great opportunity for practice and for other students to experience it as well. A lot of kids at JC do not realize what fencing is all about,” Jones said.

Megan Battaglia is a multimedia editor for “The Patriot” and