WESTPORT, Conn. -- The sport of fencing has nothing to do with “Star Wars.” But don’t tell that to Westport’s Lucas Wetmore, who was inspired to take up the sport after watching the swordplay in the movies.
“I started when I was in sixth grade,’’ said Wetmore, now a Staples High School senior who will make his third trip to the Junior Olympics this weekend. “I was interested in fencing mostly because I liked Star Wars. It just seemed really neat. I started with a class at the Westport YMCA and just stick with it.”
- Who : Lucas Wetmore, Westport
- What : Competing in his third straight Junior Olympics competition in the sport
- Did you know? Wetmore picked up the sport because he was inspired by swordplay in "Star Wars"
Wetmore now trains at New Amsterdam Fencing Academy in Port Chester, N.Y. He trains four times a week, two hours at a time. He will compete at the Junior Olympics in Kansas City, Mo., which begin Friday. It is one of the last major tournaments as a junior fencer for Wetmore, who will compete in the sport at Sacred Heart University beginning in the fall.
“I just hope to do a little bit better than last year,’’ Wetmore said. “I want to keep in control and fence well.”
Wetmore competes in foil in the Under 20 age division. He said he enjoys the strategy of fencing and the community that surrounds it. It is a sport that requires superior eye-hand coordination.
“I played Little League and stuff like that, but didn’t play a lot of sports,’’ Wetmore said. “Fencing is quite different from baseball or any other sport. You need good eye-hand coordination, but it’s also a very strategic sport. That’s one of the things that I’ve always loved about it.”
Fencers also require good lateral movement and need to retain good posture during their bouts. Wetmore said training consists of coordination skills and frequent repetition to sharpen his moves.
"We're so proud of Lucas and our three other Junior Olympic qualifiers," said John Gonzalez, NAFA North club owner and coach, who is a former champion fencer himself. "Our club is unique in that recreational fencers train right along with our competitive fencers with everyone contributing their experience, learning from each other and cheering each other on."After the Junior Olympics, Wetmore will start to focus on his college career with the Pioneers, where he plans to study business. “I’m looking forward to the team dynamic of fencing at college,’’ he said. “At this level, we don’t have that sense of camaraderie. I’m looking forward to being part of a team and studying at SHU. I wanted to stay close to home, so it’s a good choice for me.”
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