By Brian Yauger
From video games to movies and even the Olympics, the act of sword fighting is something that is inescapable in the popular culture. At Youngstown State University, there is a club for those with an itch to practice that act.
The fencing club started in 2006, and after a brief hiatus, returned in 2011 and has grown ever since.
According to a member of the fencing club, Caroline Lacusky, a graphic and interactive design major, the club has 15 members. The club’s official website states the club is “comprised of those who have come to love the Olympic sport of fencing and wish to further their abilities as a fencer.”
Brianna Owoc, an early childhood education major, said she was never interested in a sport until fencing, and she loves the people she practices with.
“The people here are very friendly, we get to spend time together after practice getting to know each other on a personal level,” Owoc said. “Fencing is a good option for those who may not enjoy the more traditional sports.”
The students involved all have different reasons for joining, some joined to be a part of something on campus.
“Fencing was always a sport that I liked,” Owoc said. “One of the main reasons I wanted to come to YSU, or at least was another plus, was that there was a fencing club. I wanted to get involved on campus and it’s really cool, something I’m still sticking with, and it’s something that I enjoy.”
Others were brought in due to the intrigue of swords in general.
Patrick Bonnette, an accounting major, said his brother got involved with fencing first and he enjoyed it.
“I also had a fascination with swords, and that brought me in as well. I enjoy the camaraderie that comes with being involved and the games that we play,” Bonnette said. “We have a good time.”
All are welcome to join no matter the skill level. Lacusky said more experienced fencers are more than willing to help students who are interested but have no experience.
“Say there’s someone who is really good at footwork, and one is good at point control,” Lacusky said. “We all work together to teach what we know onto the younger generation of fencers that come in.”
Practice for the fencing club is held in the Beeghly Center first floor on Tuesday and Friday evenings.
Still on the ‘fence’ about joining? The members of fencing club describe their experience as something more akin to a family than you might find in one of the larger sports offered on campus.
“We’re a smaller group than some other club sports,” Lacusky said. “We spend time with each other outside of practice. Every Friday we go out to McDonalds or Inner Circle and just hang out. We play card games, sometimes board games and just have a good time. It’s a good way to unwind after the week.”