Windermere resident Sam Harris has been training at the Winter Garden Fencing Academy since he was in third grade.
Windermere resident Sam Harris has been training at the Winter Garden Fencing Academy since he was in third grade. Now a rising high-school junior, he continues to balance competing, being a fencing coach at the academy, doing well in school and wrestling on The First Academy’s varsity team.
What got you into fencing in the first place?
My dad had a friend from work and his son fenced, and I always thought it was cool, like sword fighting, so I tried it and loved it, and I’ve been fencing since third grade.
What do you like about fencing?
It’s a fun and unique sport.
How do people not familiar with the sport react when they find out you fence?
They’re always really interested in it and asking questions.
What’s the most challenging aspect of it?
Probably competing, just because there’s not a lot of close places. Most places you compete in you have to travel for. I travel maybe once a month.
What’s coaching at Winter Garden Fencing like for you?
It’s been fun helping the little kids learn and being able to teach them is a great experience. It was pretty cool because I remember being coached there by older kids, too.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments in fencing?
I went to nationals two years ago and got ninth in my age division.
What discipline in fencing do you participate in?
Epee and foil. Epee targets everywhere on the body and if you touch the person you score. Foil is just on your chest and there’s rules on if you score or not.
Best advice you’ve been given?
My dad always says “hit the other person without them hitting you.”
When you’re in the middle of a match what goes through your head?
Just try to get the touch and don’t let them hit you.
What else do you like to do in your spare time?
I do bass fishing and hunting. I also wrestle on the varsity team at TFA.
How do you balance wrestling, fencing and school?
It’s hard. I come home at like 9 every night when wrestling season is in.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
How does your faith play a role in your daily life?
It gives me the strength, perseverance and hope.