Last Friday, the most popular, competitive and estranged sport returned to campus. To Juniors who lack Andover experience, fencing is the sport of princes. However, it is not the sport of sword fighting you’d expect, but rather the sport, nay, the lifestyle, of building fences.
Originally started when Samuel Phillips needed a way to keep his uncle from stealing more of his ideas, he built a fence to keep him out. Uncle John of Exeter quickly countered with a fence that was exactly the same, but red and worse in every way (it toppled at the mention of a social life).
From there, fencing evolved into an activity made to keep Juniors out of lower right. Before long, this popular pastime became an interscholastic sport and padlocked its reputation as a school favorite.
The Andover fencing team whitewashed the competition on a yearly basis, even though Tom Sawyer ’15 was always conspicuously absent. Recently, though, the going has gotten tough, but the tough have yet to get going.
Last year the highly touted recruit from Berlin, Otto Fritzantitz ’14, fell flat of his reputation (and so did his fences). Time and time again, campus has been disappointed by fences that seemed to topple at the slightest mention of protest and angry youth, very much like the ones he based his research off of in Berlin.
Eager to mend fences with the Andover community, Coach Pat Locke has stated that this year he intends to take his team on the off-fence-ive.
“We were too timid last year; teams crossed our picket lines far too much. This is the year to change that,” he said. The team has centered its hopes around stud recruits who have extensive fence-building experience, in both the great-of-China and Wailing methods known to our friends in the eastern hemisphere.
The team opened against the Doors of Deerfield, and after a splintery start, unhinged the competition. In the opening minutes it seemed like the boys in blue were struggling to have good chemistry, even with lots of carpentry. The atmosphere in the crowd was nothing short of electric. The Deerfield boys were barbed with the loss. It just goes to show, the grass is always greener on the other side.