Nicholas Waldmann

Class of 2021 senior goodbye


The four years I spent as part of the Class of 2021 at Archbishop Carroll did not happen the way I thought they would. Specifically, I didn’t think I’d be as devoted to fencing as I turned out to be, and looking back now I realize how much I enjoy reminiscing about my time spent fencing for Carroll.

I’ll be the first to say that fencing is a nerdy sport that attracts a lot of nerdy people. You won’t find many people who fence who are also into more popular athletics like baseball or basketball or football. Instead, a lot of fencers are into things like reading, chess, and movies. As for myself, I feel attracted to combat sports. There’s something about going up against a single opponent by yourself like a gladiator and giving all you have in an attempt to win that is entirely unique to combat sports; just ask anyone who competes in boxing, MMA, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, or other similar disciplines. If you lose, you must learn from your opponent and be ready for your next challenge, but, if you win, you earn the pride of having bested your opponent.

As I said before, fencing attracts a lot of nerdy people. As a result, it’s highly technical and requires a lot of attention towards minor movements. You need to stay agile at all times and be ready to spot an opening in your opponent’s defense. If you find an opening, you have to execute your attack flawlessly while maintaining your own guard. Before my first time fencing, that’s all I could think about. I took up a new sport for the fun of it and all I was getting from it was worried that I wouldn’t be able to perform. My first opponent was a student from a rival school with three years of experience. To my own surprise, I won. When it was time for my second bout, I won again. A third bout and a loss taught me an extremely important lesson: there is pain in defeat, but victory is addicting.

I would fence and win more during my freshman year, but my sophomore year was the most important to my development. I also got a taste of a large-scale victory against a group of really difficult opponents. In an email recapitulating the meet, my coach wrote: “Our epee won a huge victory 45-33, in large part due to a superior performance by Nick Waldmann… when we were down by 7 points, Nick was able to bring us back to the lead by scoring 12 points while only giving up two touches.” That night will always be a highlight of my high school experience, and it helped earn me the MVP title in my sophomore year of fencing.

Junior year was harder without the guidance of those the team lost from the graduating Class of 2019. Soon, though, I realized that it was now my turn to lead and teach as team captain. I kept collecting victories throughout the year and was especially proud of a 3-0-0 performance against The Hill School. 

It is regrettable that I wasn’t able to fence at all during senior year despite other teams being able to have their own practices and even matchups against other schools. However, I fully intend to continue my fencing career in college, and I have Carroll to thank for my start to my long fencing career.