Luckily, these students are really quite harmless. They are members of the Amherst fencing club. According to fencing club member Mihailis Diamantis ’04, the club is nothing new to Amherst. “There are documented pictures from all the way back to 1920,” he said. “But, after the first semester of my freshman year, the seniors that were running the club couldn’t keep it up, so the club kind of collapsed.”
The next year, Diamantis and Geoff Brounell ’04 took matters into their own hands. “Geoff and I restarted the club,” Diamantis said. “[Fencing is] a lot of fun-a romantic sport.”
Although Brounell only had a year of experience before joining the team as a freshman and Diamantis had no experience whatsoever, they were determined to make the club work. When they re-organized it last year, the two tried to get an official coach; but there were problems with funding. This year, however, the team has found a coach. “In years past, it had just been student coaching. This year, we were able to get money from the AAS, and we got a professional coach,” he said.
There are people of all levels of experience in the club, from a first-year who has been fencing since seventh grade to students with no experience. On average, members of the team only have a semester or a year under their belts.
Brounell and Diamantis hope to put the College’s fencing team on the map. “We really want to get an Amherst presence into the competitions,” Diamantis said. “We’d like it to be more serious than it was in the past. We’d like to take things up a notch, get more excited and more committed.”