Fencing, what do you think of at first? Perhaps, you think of a bunch of people in white suits moving back and forth with swords.
Payson is a quiet little town that supports its high school players. Although they support a variety of many different sports, they don't seem to recognize fencing. Is it just overlooked because it is unusual?
This sport has been forgotten in Payson. Many people have interest in it, but they do not have opportunities for participate unless it means joining fencing clubs in distant towns such as Phoenix and Tucson.
It is generally taught at colleges, but Gila Community College has nothing of the sort.
Some cities have free youth programs like the one I am enrolled in which is paid for by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office. (I will live in Payson when the summer break lets us out of school and will be attending Payson High School my freshman year.)
We also hold a few fund-raisers to earn money for our team. All Payson has for its youth is a park, a bowling alley, a rodeo arena and a skate park. What about the people who can't skate or can't ride a horse or can't bowl?
I hope the people of Payson agree with me.
If Payson started a fencing group, possibly there would be fewer teens with nothing to do. This would also help certain people regain balance (from footwork). Fencing is just a physical form of chess.
Shannon Wedell, Part-time Payson resident, Eighth-grader