Fencing Club makes a point


Hunter Deem

Marshall University Fencing Club members Elijah Vela and Scott Cooper show off fencing gear and pose.


After mentioning he was once captain of the University of Southern California’s fencing team, a student approached Del Chrol and asked him to be the adviser for Marshall University’s fencing club. Del Chrol, the program director for Classics at MU, said he enjoys fencing because anyone can do it. 

“One thing I really love about the sport, unlike other sports, there are advantages and disadvantages to body types,” Del Chrol said. “For basketball, it helps if you’re taller, but with fencing, you can adapt your style to your body type. Anyone is able to fence, we don’t have wheelchair fencing, but it’s a thing.” 

Del Chrol has been teaching fencing at Marshall for the past six years and said he has been fencing for the past 10.  When Chrol was attending the University of Southern California, he had joined their fencing club and said he eventually became the captain of the saber fencing team. 

Some members of the group, including Izzy Bennett, said they joined thinking the club would be like what they saw in movies.

“I saw a flyer for fencing club and thought it would be like Pirates of the Caribbean, and that’s exactly what it’s like,” Bennett said. 

Scott Cooper, a senior digital forensics major and fencing club president, and Elijah Vela, a forensics masters student, both said they joined the fencing club more than a year ago after attending Rec Fest and meeting the fencing team at the booth. Cooper said he enjoyed fencing so much that he found a club back home in Dayton, Ohio to keep in shape over the summer. 

Vela said he enjoys fencing because he can get out stress.

 “It’s a great stress reliever,” Vela said. “I have a bunch of schoolwork, and I can come here and I have to be focused on my opponent and on my target and it helps keep my mind off things.”

The fencing club has not yet attended any competitions, but Del Chrol said they are hoping to compete in the future. Later this semester, the club will be making a trip to Lexington, Kentucky to learn from the former coach of the Egyptian fencing team and two American Olympic fencers. 

The club meets on Thursdays at 8 p.m. at the Rec for anyone interest, and club members who have a month of experience can attend Tuesday meetings that are more advanced sessions, Del Chrol said.

Hunter Deem can be contacted at [email protected]