MS SwordCats Wield their Wits and Swords in Memphis

Nicholas H., Staff Writer

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Photo courtesy of Nicholas Harvey

Did you know that in the middle school, a small group of students take up their sabers and fight a battle of wits? According to Webster’s Dictionary, fencing is the sport of fighting with swords. Two opponents face each other using a variety of different actions to score. The first person to get 15 points wins the bout.

Just like in the middle school, fencing has become increasingly more popular in the United States. One of the most prominent clubs in nation is Nellya Fencers, based in Georgia. It has 37 national championships, a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics and a bronze medal from the 2004 Olympics, both won by Sada Jacobson, a Westminster alum. One of the national championships from Nellya Fencers was won by current eighth grader Kirk C.

Kirk has been fencing for five years and is committed to the sport. He said, “I started because my dad showed it to me.”

Kirk fences saber, one of the most popular styles of fencing. He said, “I really like saber. It is the fastest and requires the most strategy.”

In 2014, Kirk won the Youth 10 saber event. Since then, he has won multiple youth tournaments and most recently placed in the top eight in the Youth 14 nationals in 2017. Kirk wants to continue fencing in college and has many goals for his career. He said, “I want to go to the Olympics and be a world champion.”

Eighth grader Nithya G. recently qualified for the Junior Olympics for the first time. In fencing, the Junior Olympics marks the end of the regular season for the 17-under age group. Nithya has been fencing for seven years and is ready for the Junior Olympics. She said, “I’m really excited for JO’s. I’ve been practicing a lot, and I’m ready to compete.”

In Memphis over President’s Day weekend, the SwordCats competed in the Cadet men’s and women’s saber events against fencers from around the country. In men’s saber, Kirk and Nicholas H. placed 19th and 36th, respectively out of 248 fencers. In women’s saber, Nithya placed 25th out of 176 fencers.

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