By Jamieson D.
This scenario is just another typical fencing match for William Siegel, a seventh-grader at Blach.
William appears to be just a regular student at Blach, but William plays a fascinating sport. His sport isーfencing.
“It’s a unique sport, unlike a lot of other sports, because, instead of using balls, you use a foil, which is a long bendable blade usually with one blunt point,” William says.
William’s family consists of his mother, father, and little sister. William’s mother is what you might call a helicopter parent. She wanted her son to play something other than soccer. “My mom pushes me to be the very best at what I do,” he said. The reason she does this is because she firmly believes that her son can be the best at however he wants to spend his time.
William’s father is also very supportive of what William does and is always there with him for moral support and to help reduce the stress of all his extracurricular activities. Also, his little sister loves to cheer on her big brother in all of his matches.
Ever since the first day of his fencing practice, William has had a burning passion for it.
To collect more information about William, I asked a close friend of his, named Kyle. Kyle told me that William was a very kind human being who always tries to get others to laugh while staying cheerful no matter what the situation; “He likes to make people laugh and smile, so he often tells jokes,” Kyle told me.
Then, I interviewed William’s father, Mr. Siegel. Mr. Siegel gave me similar answers. He added that William has a sarcastic sense of humor and has a lot of empathy. So, with these positive responses, we can quickly assume that William is a good-natured and funny human being.
In the beginning, William was not very good at fencing, but through his mother’s tough love and his own self-determination; he pushed himself forward until he began to win games.
William explained to me that once he got better at fencing, he would move up an imaginary staircase. Each step brought him one step closer to being the top student, which put in line to move onto the next level.
Once William got good enough to move up to the next level, he quickly became the worst student at the higher level. That is, until he got better, and moved up the stairs again. This created an ongoing path to success. He told me that, as of now, he is somewhere in the lower half of the final step.
William has competed in a few fencing tournaments. In Las Vegas, he almost went all the way to the championship round. He also competed in Washington state. I asked him what his thought processes were when he went to a tournament.
He responded this way, “There are hundreds of fencers, and most of them are better than me. But, I’m going to do my best and try to get as high on the leaderboard as I can. It’s kind of intimidating because a lot of them are a year or two older than me and they are at different skill levels. So, I don’t want to lose to a person of lower skill. That would be humiliating. Also, when you play against someone with better skills, it can be very intimidating.”
William trains very hard. He hopes to compete in many more fencing tournaments, maybe even take first place, on occasion. When he becomes good enough, he’ll want to go all the way to a championship match somewhere outside the United States. William left me with these final words, “You get to play around with a sword! I mean what’s not fun about that?”