Flaherty’s fencers fight for fun

Every Wednesday and Thursday after school, the members of the fencing interest group come together to dress in much-needed safety gear and report to the balcony between the B and C building, where they can be seen taking on each other in duels in a sport that is more than 700 years old.

Sean Flaherty, adviser and founder of the interest group, has been coaching fencing since the late ’80s in South America. However, the group was not created at NPHS until he noticed the existing interest on campus. “I put the word out and then some students approached me, they were taking fencing where I used to at the Conejo Recreation and Park District and then two of them started the club with me,” Flaherty said. 

Ever since its creation, the fencing interest group has caught the attention of students across campus from all backgrounds and experience levels. Samuel Munoz-Vignes, sophomore, has been in the group for two years as well as having prior fencing experience from middle school. “I had a background in middle school, and I took a little stint over the summer,” Munoz-Vignes said. Since then, Munoz-Vignes has used the interest group as an opportunity to perfect his skills.

In contrast, Alexander Adams, junior, joined the interest group at the start of this school year with no prior experience. “I was given basically a one-week crash course, just kind of basic training,” Adams said. “And from there, you just get to fence people until you kind of learn a bit more by experience.”

This year, the group hopes to expand its participants. “Right now we’ve got a hardcore group of maybe 8 or 10 people who are generally part of it, but it would be nice to have more people come in,” Flaherty said. 

Despite the small size, the members of the fencing group take joy in the practices. “You get stabbed a lot… a lot a lot. It’s good stuff though, it’s fun,” Munoz-Vignes said. “Never before is being stabbed so much fun.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.