HC Senior Fencers: Will Cunningham


H.C. fencing logo

How long have you been fencing? How were you introduced to the sport?

I have been fencing for eight years after trying out every other sport imaginable. I was forced to do a sport when I was younger so I went through: soccer, baseball, basketball, golf, and snowboarding before finally settling on fencing. I remember sitting in my living room reading through a list of all sports before seeing fencing and thinking “I would love to play with swords!”


What is your role on the team? What is your greatest strength when competing? 

I am the A strip of the boys foil team. For most of this year I was the only senior that fences foil, before I forced some of my friends to join. I am on the varsity team and represent the discipline of foil fencing.


What is your most memorable takeaway from this experience?

My most memorable experience fencing was last year at the last tournament of the year, it being regionals there were no more meets or practices left in that year. I spent all day talking to the seniors of that year (and fighting some), because it was one of the very last days I would see them at all. I felt as if they in a way passed the torch to me, and my peers. We got there as the sun rose and left long after it had set, so after I had fenced my 8 matches I had time to help out in different ways. I got my first job that day as a fencing referee (which I was very underqualified for) and got paid $60 for two hours. I remember talking to one of my coaches for about an hour about a video game that just came out, and finally at the end of the day me, other fencers I met that day and some of my peers climbed to the top of the school we were at’s bleachers and fought each other with our sheets, regardless of discipline. Having fun that day is what I remember above all other things, when I think of my strongest memory of fencing I just become overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude, gratitude to be so fortunate as to meet all the people I have, and to live, eat, drink, and fight with them every day for a couple months.


What other activities are you involved in at school (clubs, honors societies, sports, etc)?

I’m in the Latin Honor Society, and I enjoy being able to talk to all my classmates in a language no one understands. Because there are so few members of latin at all, almost everyone is in the society together, the same class of people that have told jokes, played games and become enlightened listening to Mr. Gichan speak. The best Latin teacher in the school, Mr. Gichan, has to be the best part of class and society, truly one of the most interesting, witty, intelligent, human beings I think I will ever meet. 


What activities do you participate in outside of school?

Outside of school, one of my favorite winter activities is snowboarding. I have even gone to Vermont to snowboard in sophomore year. My favorite thing about snowboarding is the feeling of flying when I am falling down a black diamond with a 70 degree angle slope. Also warming up inside a lodge of whatever place I am at with the feeling of being totally wet forcing me to stay by the fire. I also play the bass guitar. I grew up having to play the violin and piano, and didn’t really enjoy learning either because I was forced to have lessons and play in orchestras. For guitar my favorite thing is being able to freely play without lesions as I was able to teach myself.


What do you do for fun?

I draw in my spare time. My favorite thing about drawing is being able to slowly improve, and communicate my own experiences of nature and aesthetics. I love finding new landscapes or plants to draw to try and improve my skill. I also enjoy cooking, as I cook most of the meals for my family.


What is your favorite thing/thing you will miss most from Central?

I will miss the fun classes and fun teachers that make me glad to have met them. Being able to freely talk with so many different types of people is something I will seek wherever I go, and I definitely found it here at Central.


Name at least one thing you want to do before you graduate?

I want to go skydiving before I finish high school.


Plans after high school? College? Career? What are you looking forward to after high school?

I am looking forward to my next educational pursuit, college. My top picks are Rowan and Rutgers, but I haven’t locked in where exactly I want to go.


What is one way you have changed since freshman year?

I have definitely become more confident with my own self, and realized I don’t have to be where everyone else is or do what everyone else is doing. I have become more confident in my abilities as a person and student. I am also way more laid back as opposed to freshman year, I feel like freshmen are always trying to prove something, at least that’s how I was.


Pretend you are talking to your freshman self: what would you say to them?

I would definitely tell him to study and do his homework during the two year break of Covid. Also, to really not worry about what other people think of you, praise doesn’t help you and insults can’t hurt you. Having someone not like you is inevitable, not the end of the world. 


Any last thoughts?

I would like any underclassmen reading to check fencing out next year! It really is fun, and a good way to spend time after school.