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The Sport of Fencing Gains Momentum in Comal ISD

While fencing was one of the first sports to by played in the Olympics, only a handful of Texas high schools have teams. High school students in the Comal Independent School District, however, are trying to change that, paving the way for the future of the sport in public schools.

While fencing is not a UIL sponsored sport, it has become an important part of Comal ISD's intramural sports and now boasts teams at Memorial Early College High School (MECHS) and Canyon Lake High School (CLHS).

In fact, these teams have made quite a name for themselves across the state of Texas winning individual and team honors with three of them qualifying for the Junior Olympics. On Saturday, April 6, the MECHS team took first place in the team Foil event at a high school tournament in Dallas while two members tied for third place in the same event.

MECHS Juniors Austin Kortz and Kyle Kistner along with Freshman Jeremy Clar won first place in the Foil event for their team, and Kortz and Kistner tied for third place in the individual Foil event.

During its March meeting, the Comal ISD Board of Trustees honored these athletes for their achievements in the sport. MECHS Junior Mason MoyaKistner and Kortz were honored for qualifying and competing in the Fencing Junior Olympic Championship Feb. 15-18 in Denver.

Many of the MECHS teammates began learning the sport three years ago as freshmen with the guidance of their coach, Jim Basler, and faculty sponsor, Richard Muenich.

With only a few public high school fencing teams in the state of Texas including MECHS and CLHS, the district is helping to build a program from the ground up.

Finding tournaments in which to compete with other high school teams can be difficult which is why Comal ISD hosted the first public high school fencing tournament in Texas at Church Hill Middle School on Oct. 6, 2018. Four schools competed including MECHS, CLHS, Boerne High School and Tarrant County Community College, an early college high school.

Considered a mental game as well as a physical one, in fencing, the winner outsmarts the opponent. The sport takes balance, muscle control, quick movements and instincts.

One photo included.
Comal ISD fencing teams from Memorial Early College High School and Canyon Lake High School competed in a Texas high school fencing tournament in Dallas on April 6. Pictured from left Zane Duncan, sophomore at CLHS; Kade Bowers, junior at MECHS; Jonathan Brown, sophomore at CLHS; Donovan Stockwell, sophomore at CLHS; Kyle Kistner, junior at MECHS; Austin Kortz, junior at MECHS; Jeremy Clar, freshman at MECHS; Weston McCullar, freshman at MECHS; and James Ensign, junior at CLHS.