VHS’s Fencing Team

If Verona High School started a fencing team, over 30 people would join.

That is according to VHS junior Alex Klysa, who has been going classroom to classroom asking classmates to sign a petition to start a fencing team. Alex, a fencer herself, moved to Verona from Long Island, NY last summer and was more than disappointed when she found out her new high school didn’t have a fencing team. She had been fencing since she was in eighth grade after a friend of hers got her into it.

After only a couple weeks of fencing, Alex tried out for the high school team at her old town.  It turns out Alex explains had a natural advantage over most fencers because she is a lefty.  The fencing team at her old school took the top three best fencers and brought them to competitions. Alex was only a freshman and she made the varsity team and took the number three spot. She fenced in two big tournaments and one county tournament. As her love for fencing grew throughout her freshman year, she tried out again sophomore year and made the number one spot.

Alex finished her sophomore year fencing at her school, but then found out she would be moving to Verona.  When Alex found out that Verona had no fencing team she met up with VHS Athletic Director Gary Farishian and asked if she was able to fence with teams from other towns.  After he explained that she wouldn’t be able to do it, Alex kept pushing for it.  In the meantime, as Alex kept trying, she made a deal with her parents that allowed her to continue fencing at a club in Cedar Grove.

At this club Alex signed up for tournaments on her own, but was a representative of the club. This is when Virginia Citrano of myveronanj.com found out about Alex and got in touch with Alex’s mother.  Mrs. Citrano posted an article on myveronanj.com about Alex and her fencing. That is when Alex found out that she could be an independent fencer for Verona. Although Verona had no team she was still able to go to competitions and battle other independent fencers.

“(Right now) I am the Verona fencing team,” Alex explains as she tries to drum up support for a program.

Alex got over 200 signatures on her petition and a list of about 30 people who said they would join a Verona High School fencing team. Alex continues to e-mail Mr. Farishian in hopes of someday being able to fence for a team again, a Verona High School team.

“I just want kids in the future to not have the same issue I had. Fencing is a really cool sport and I just want people to know about it and have the opportunity to learn about it. I just love fencing.”