The Register Forum

Young Fencing Team Continues to Work Hard, Grow

Sophie Harrington, Contributing Writer

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If you peek into the multipurpose room of the War Memorial any given Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, you will hear the scuttling of feet and the tapping of blades. These are the sounds of CRLS’ fencing team, a team which only started four years ago.

The team is coached by Angélica Brisk, a teacher at CRLS, and her husband, George Scott, the former epee coach at Boston College. In 2015, Amy Zhao—a senior at the time—approached Ms. Brisk, asking her if she could start a fencing club. Ms. Brisk welcomed the idea, and, in its first year, the club garnered 16 members. However, it was not until the 2016-2017 school year that the club turned into an official varsity sport. Until that point, all of the coaching was volunteer work. The club became a varsity sport when there was clear interest in the program. According to Ms. Brisk, “We didn’t want to waste funding if it wasn’t going to be a success.” And, clearly, it was. When the club was listed as a varsity sport, 40 students attended tryouts; the popularity has increased this year, with nearly 50 students coming out. As a result, the team has unfortunately started to make cuts.

“We really only need twelve girls and twelve boys for the team,” commented Ms. Brisk. “We really don’t like to make cuts because we really want everyone to be able to fence.”At this point, the competitive season has only just started for the team. So far, their record is  2-2 for the girls and 2-3 for the boys. One of junior Annalise Jacobsen’s goals for the team  this season is to “do well in States.” She added, “I think we totally can, because we have great fencers and a great team effort.”Although many sports at CRLS are members of the Dual County League, there are only 18 high schools in Massachusetts which offer fencing, which is not enough to create regional leagues. CRLS participates in the Massachusetts High School Fencing League and competes against teams that may not be MIAA schools.

This year’s team captains are April Dottin-Carter ’19 and Jonas Hansen ’19. The team manager is Jackson Moore-Otto ’18, who fenced as an underclassman but took on the role of organizing the team this year. When asked what his favorite part of the fencing team is, Moore-Otto stated, “CRLS fencers are not only dedicated fencers but are also immensely kind and supportive of their teammates.”

Amy Zhao started the fencing team at CRLS with several goals in mind: She wanted to see a full squad of fencers at CRLS, she wanted to make fencing an accessible sport for all students at CRLS, and she wanted to spread her love of the sport with the world.

Zhao told the Register Forum that she hopes that every CRLS fencer leaves “having gained something valuable.” She concluded, “Ultimately, it’s not about how many bouts are won. … It’s about the process and what you garnered along the way. Maybe you made a friend or two, maybe you learned how to plan and strategize, or maybe you finally understand what it means never to give up.”

This piece also appears in our January print edition.

About the Contributors
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Young Fencing Team Continues to Work Hard, Grow