Sword Fight! North Atlanta Fencing Club Thrusts Into Competition


Marin Cochran

En Garde! Members of the North Atlanta Fencing team recently participated at a fencing tournament in Alpharetta on Sept 18. Members of the team are: Coach Mason Huffmaster, senior Javonte Johnson, senior Michael Mazzeo, freshman Alfred Ponder, freshman Nolan McMeekin, sophomore Grayson Fiftal and senior Milan Capoor.

Rambunctious cafeteria by day. Escapade for sword-fighting teenagers by night. North Atlanta’s fencing club is a sport that sometimes can be overlooked by the student body. Although fencing doesn’t garner the headlines that the more followed sports of football, basketball, or baseball do, fencing certainly deserves its flowers. The sport of fencing has been around for more than 700 years and has been a prominent event in the Olympics every year since 1896. Tracing back to the 14th and 15th-century, fencing was beginning its development of swordsmanship for duels, self-defense, and sport. North Atlanta has had a fencing team since 2017, and this year’s Dub fencers are busily preparing for an upcoming tournament.

The North Atlanta fencing team has seven members and is coached by literature teacher Fatima Debe and the program’s new community coach, Mason Huffmaster. The team has been working hard in preparation for the tournament that will be held at Creek View Elementary on September 18th.

Sophomore Marin Cochran is proud to be embarking on their first year as part of the fencing club. The group practices on Monday afternoons in the cafeteria. During these sessions, Cochran, along with the other fencing team members, make their mark by training for their strenuous sport. “I have always been in awe of sports like fencing, so I thought I would give it a try,” Cochran said. “So far it has been a massively great experience. Plus, who would not want to run around with a sword at school?”

Similar to Cochran, senior Milan Capoor did not know much about the sport until playing on the intramural team at Sutton. Since then, Capoor has been fencing for four years and is about to attend another fencing tournament later this month. He describes these fencing tournaments as a place to have fun and to test one’s skills against other individuals. “We get separated into different heats until there are only two fencers left who both face off against each other,” Capoor said. “Though years prior we have not been lucky enough to win, this year we will be the most determined team there.”

The sport of fencing goes well beyond the parameters of your more “typical” sports. Whether one is sparked by the thought of being a swashbuckling pirate or just wanting to engage in daring adventures, fencing can give everyone a sense of exhilaration, even by just watching. These extraordinary Dubs are making their way towards a glamorous future. And whatever you do, try not to engage in a swordfight with these kids.