BLS Fencing Foils the Competition This Winter


BLS Fencing celebrates its victory! (Source: Weijie Zheng)

This season, the Boston Latin School fencing team had many great successes. BLS hosted a fencing meet at the School for the first time, which would later go down to become one of the most important moments in BLS fencing history. The team also celebrated their tenth anniversary alongside an entire season’s undefeated women’s epee team and men’s foil team. Along with their outstanding record — winning 99 out of 117 total matches at States — the men’s team placed first. The women’s team placed second.

Niara Dagli (I), senior captain for the women’s team, explains that even though she is graduating this year, she hopes that next year, “our women’s team can reclaim their seven-year streak and that our men’s team will win again for a second year in a row.”

The team is predominantly led by the senior class; however, there has been an increase in younger, less experienced, but hardworking teammates this year. Michael Nil (I) expresses, “As a senior on the team, I’m most looking forward to see how the new wave of fencers will take over and what they can do to make the club just a little bit better.”

As four out of the five team captains among the men and women’s teams are seniors, some aspects of the team’s leadership and team chemistry will change. The senior captains will pass down the torch and leave the roles of leadership with this season’s only returning captain, Declan Gorman (II). Gorman views next year’s season as a season where the team can improve throughout the program, and he is confident in the strength of next year’s team.

Team chemistry is an extremely important factor for succeeding in team sports. When reflecting on this year’s season, Dagli recalls, “Everyone was comfortable enough to cheer on their teammates and feel inspired when they were praised by non-fencers on the team.” These seniors have played and practiced with one another for most of their time at BLS. With so many practices and events, teammates were quick to get to know each other, creating a sense of community, comradery and family within the program.

Nil reflects,“The fencing team’s biggest pride is our connectivity with each other. Whenever my teammates or even me are on the strip competing, I always feel a sense of family and empowerment by my peers.” Fencers on the team echo these sentiments, emphasizing and repeatedly mentioning the team’s huge impact on family and connection.

Although BLS fencers may appear intimidating on the strip when they compete in full protective gear and weapon in hand, the team is compassionate and members have each other’s back. After facing many challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has rekindled, coming back stronger than ever. After speaking with members of this tenacious team, it is clear that their success this year is only the beginning. As dedicated and motivated athletes, the BLS community will be on the edge of their seats to see what the BLS fencing team will accomplish next.