Fencing Club Getting To The Point At John Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/2/07-Tyler

Fencing Club Getting To The Point At John Tyler

East Texas tends to be all about football. So, when something is a break from the norm, it is not always the most popular thing to do.

But the dozen fencers at John Tyler could not care less.

"They just think I'm a nerd," said freshman Kaitlin Thomas. "'Oh you're doing fencing? That's not a real sport!' But I can tell you, it is."

When their classmates are just getting ready to start the school day, the John Tyler fencing club has already been practicing for an hour.

"People question me a lot because they aren't really sure what fencing is," Christian Harrison said. "They ask me if we're putting up chain link fences around the school or something."

"Everybody can do football or baseball, but fencing, not everybody can do," Richard Morgan said.

Christian and his mother founded the club. Local middle school P.E. classes had been teaching fencing as part of the curriculum. Word of mouth spread and the fencing club was born.

So, what is it?

"Fencing is a competition of sword fighting wits," Richard explained. "You've got to know the footwork. You've got to know the blade work and until you do, you can't compete. "

"It's basically you just go out you try to attack and not be attacked," Kaitlin said. 

"It's pretty difficult, it's difficult to master," Christian said. "I still haven't mastered it and I've been doing it for two and a half years."

The Lions hope the popularity of the sport will grow along with membership. But there is something uniquely cool about being the only fencers in town.

"A little lonely, occasionally," Richard said. "But, I feel good knowing that I can do something that not many people can do."

Since there are no other teams in the area, the Lion fencing team does not compete as a whole. However, Christian Harrison competes in Shreveport and participated in the Junior Olympics qualifier.

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