NA Fencers Find New Love in the Sport

Members+of+the+NA+Girls+Fencing+Team+practice+in+the+NAI+Cafeteria+on+Feb.+22%2C+2022.

Virginia Malkin

Members of the NA Girls Fencing Team practice in the NAI Cafeteria on Feb. 22, 2022.

Virginia Malkin, Staff Writer

For Sophomore Wynn Musselman, the best part of fencing is the time spent with her friends. 

The club started in September this year and opens membership to anyone who wants to join at any point. The group is made up of 9-12 graders and meets in the NAI Cafeteria.

Fencing itself dates back to the 1990 BCE. According to Brittanica, “The earliest depiction of swordplay is a relief in the temple of Medīnat Habu, near Luxor in Egypt, built by Ramses III about 1190 BCE. This relief must depict a practice bout or match, as the sword points are covered and the swordsmen are parrying with shields strapped to their left arms and are wearing masks (tied to their wigs), large bibs, and padding over their ears.” 

Fencing teaches flexibility, conditioning, and endurance. Sophomore team member Brooklyn Holloway said, “Well, when you go there, you have to learn stretching, and you have to run, and be more active, and different techniques, and how to stand.“

Sophomore Wynn Musselman added, ”We do Foil Fencing, so we use a Foil sword, and specific clothes that work only for Foil Fencing.”

Additionally, Fencing does not require a large amount of time. Holloway says she doesn’t really practice outside of school much.

It’s a way for me to be active and hang out with my friends.”

— Brooklyn Holloway

Holloway then went on to explain that students purchase their own equipment, and coaches bring in the equipment to guide each lesson.

Holloway shared one of the many reasons she enjoys fencing: “It’s a way for me to be active and hang out with my friends.” It’s an outlet for students who do not find themselves the most competitive at sports where they can have fun, and just feel satisfied doing their best.  

North Allegheny Students have the opportunity to compete against other students outside of the school district. Holloway stated, “Different schools: Aquinas and Fox Chapel and a bunch of other different schools around here.” 

Holloway shared that the sport is coached by Coach Iana and David.

Hollow also shared how Fencing meets are run. They start by waiting, warming up in the cafeteria. Then, they either fence each other, or get plugged into electrical fencing equipment, and put on their gear.

Musselman explained how points are counted in electric fencing: “You put on this electric vest that’s gray, and you hook your vest up to this point tracker, and whenever your foil hits the other opponent’s vest it counts as a point.”

Fencing is a sport that many people in the North Allegheny school district can enjoy starting in 6th grade. It provides time to bond with friends and nurture lifelong friendships.