Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper

The fencing life of Sean Strong

By Max Essig

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By Max Essig| Staff Writer

February 19, 2013

Every day Sean Strong takes time out of his busy day for a game of, what he calls, physical chess.

With juggling the combined stress and responsibility of his academia, on-campus clubs, community service and extra-curricular activities, Strong has found a method of combating said amounts of stress.

And ironically, Strong’s method came from adding yet another activity to his schedule.

That activity is his physical chess, more commonly known as fencing.

Sean Strong stands with his opponents after taking the first place medal. (Photo courtesy of Sean Strong.

Sean Strong stands with his opponents after taking the first place medal. (Photo courtesy of Sean Strong.)

Strong discovered fencing purely by chance, as a bored eight-year-old who got dragged along by his mom to his little brother’s horseback riding lessons. One fateful day they passed by a fencing club and Strong has been fencing ever since, which now adds up to a grand total of six years.

Fencing is swordsmanship in a less dangerous sport form. Swordsmanship has continually been put into practice since Biblical times and has evolved from deadly combat to a current Olympic sport.

Fencing is a game of quick reflexes and an even quicker mind to take down the opponent.

“[You can] never let your opponent do what they want to,” Strong says.  “The entire game is geared around out-smarting and out-maneuvering your opponent.”

But Strong has taken more from fencing then simply the love of the sport.

The quick thinking and decisiveness he has obtained from six years of fencing and applies them to other aspects of his life such as keeping him involved around his community.

Along with everyday fencing practice, Strong is currently the president of the DPHS Unite to Light Club, which supports a local nonprofit organization that sends solar lights to third world countries. He is also the treasurer of Local Color, as well as being a member of both JSA and SAVE. Academically, Strong plans on completing the full International Bacceloriate diploma program, in hopes of studying abroad for college.

And as if that isn’t enough, Strong has recently been training extensively for the Junior Olympics in Baltimore this month where he will be able to put his quick thinking and judgment skills to the test against other fencers his age.

With all the commotion, there are times Strong feels overwhelmed by trying to juggle the sport and his academia.

But despite the busy schedule and the commotion that fencing adds, Strong is loves what he does and feels that this sport is the highlight of his day and is truly a thrill to partake in.

And not only does he love it, but Strong sees ways fencing transfers over to almost anything he does in life. Whether it be academic, athletic, or anything else, the mindset Sean has gained from his favorite sport allows him to not only accept a challenge, but enjoy it.

“Fencing means losing 15 to 14 in a bout you should have won and winning a tournament you were supposed to have bombed. It’s both the ups and downs that make the sport so interesting.”

Even beyond the intricacies of this physical chess, Strong has found a way to break down his love of the sport.

“In other words, it’s pretty cool,” said Strong simply.

For Sean Strong, the day extends far beyond the final bell for sixth period. And by then, Strong’s game of physical chess is simply beginning.

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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
The fencing life of Sean Strong