Written by Ashlyn Chidsey |
Five years ago, Morgan graduate Stephen Barnett and his dad, Jim Barnett, started the fencing club here at The Morgan School. During the winter season, they practiced daily, conditioned, and participated in matches a couple of times a week, just like any other sport at Morgan.
Unfortunately, it was never given the title of an official sport at our school; it was referred to as a club. This year, the fencing team has moved up in the athletic title, going from a club to a varsity program. The fencing team has fought hard to receive more recognition in the school. But what’s the difference between a program and a sport? A program is as close as you can get to a sport in an individual school. However, there are not enough CIAC fencing teams to officially receive the title of a sport in Connecticut. As a program, they can now receive plaques and banners. Athletic director, Mr. Rayel, describes it in further detail. “It’s under the supervision of the athletic department. It’s run just like a sport here, but it’s not a sport.”
Even though it cannot be an official sport yet, this major step has left the members of the team very excited. Senior Captain Erin Barnett, shared her feelings about the change. “It’s super exciting because we have been working for 5 years to become an actual sport so it’s great to be recognized, and it’s exciting for the future of The Morgan Fencing Team.” Erin received several offers from colleges to extend her ability to a greater level, but the big time commitment is keeping her from playing in college although she will miss the team and the sport.
Junior Nola Neri is also excited about fencing becoming a program although she does not think the changes are drastically notable. “We practiced like any other sport before so it didn’t feel different, but now we have the recognition; it’s great because Mr. Barnett has been working hard towards making a team and now we can finally say we are.”
Hopefully, fencing can become more popular in Connecticut so there will be enough CIAC fencing teams to have an official varsity sport team, but for now, the results are rewarding. Congratulations to The Morgan School’s fencing team and good luck during the rest of your season!
For more information on the fencing team’s match against North Branford, check out The Harbor News Article: Morgan Fencing Hitting Its Mark in First Varsity Year