When you think of RHS Athletics, which sports come to mind first? Probably lacrosse, football, or maybe even soccer. However, there are plenty of successful but less popular sports at RHS that are often overlooked and forgotten. One club of these clubs is fencing.
Fencing is a one vs. one contested event where the objective is to not get hit with a weapon while attempting to do so to your opponent. Matches are three, three-minute rounds in length. Sophomore fencing club participant Francesca Alvidrez informed me that “there are three different types of weapons, Foil, Saber and Épée, and I fence Épée.”
When I questioned Alvidrez about her experience with the fencing team, she explained that “the high school does not have an official fencing ‘team’. We just have a club and we are trying to get the athletic director to make it an official team.” Alvidrez stated that “this year with the school team, we practiced a couple of times a week with footwork and bouts. We would be split up for bouts because there were both Saber and Épée fencers there, so Saber would fence each other and same with Épée.” A “fencing bout” is simply the term used to describe a match where the goal is to be the first to reach fifteen points. Alvidrez told me that she normally practices at an outside club and takes private lessons a few times a week, but she would definitely become more involved at Ridgewood if it were to become an official sport.
A great fencer must possess agility, endurance, precision, strategy, and flexibility. Fencers must stay focused and mentally strong when facing the intense conditions of combat. This undoubtedly sounds worthy of the consideration of a Ridgewood High School sport; in 2017, the RHS High Times released an article titled “Should New Sports be added to RHS” and the push for fencing as a RHS sport was heavily discussed. The debate still continues, but hopefully, this club will blossom into the athletic program where it deserves to be.
Graphic: Lexi Liu