The fencing team, which operates out of Chapin, is an interschool team, drawing its members from Chapin, Browning, Brearley, Spence, Dalton, Collegiate, and Hewitt.
Five weeks of training is built in to the beginning of the season. After the training, you can leave it at learning the basics, or go on to compete to extend your knowledge.
We compete against Horace Mann, Riverdale, Masters, St. Ann’s, Rye, Hackley; we fence each twice in the regular season. Then we participate in a one-day championship, a round-robin blizzard, in which every team fences every other team.
One of the Form V boys is a varsity starter in foil. He did not know how to fence when he came to the team, but he knew he wanted to. He has become a shrewd fencer because he is an intelligent fellow and has learned to control his body and make it do the bidding of his mind.
A few years ago, four Browning lads came over together to learn and, by their senior year, lost the championships only narrowly to a team with national and international competitors. Oh, yes, it can be done!
An eighth grade boy and sprinter on the track team was already fencing sabre when he came to the team. He found himself with something different to learn: to be an anchor for a team that did not exist. This year was the first for sabre and the only guys that were going to fill out the team were just learning to fence. He worked with the prospects, and now there is a sabre team. By the end of the year, he turned his sprinter’s speed into change of pace, finding different rhythms and beating guys who beat him before, and setting his sights higher. He still has four more years.
Browning students have done well in fencing, and there’s room for more. The fencing team starts in late September.