Captain Spotlight on Zoe Cronin: Taking a chance

Emma Gittleman, Journalism Student

Fencing can be described only in one way; unique. It is based off of traditional skills of swordsmanship and happens to be an olympic sport. The team is divided into three weapons: Foil, Épée and Sabre. Zoe Cronin, a senior at Valley is just one of many students who have experienced fencing. Zoe, is the new head captain of Wayne Valley’s fencing team. She started fencing at the age of 14. When entering high school, she never expected to join the fencing team and said it was a “spur of the moment decision”. She needed a winter sport to do and her best friends happened to be on the team. Looking back on her decision, she now believes it was the best decision that she made.
Going into her first season, she knew nothing about fencing but that did not matter to her. All that mattered to her was that she enjoyed the sport and as a bonus the team was very supportive of each other. The team at Valley almost feels like a family according to Zoe, and “ not a single person is self-centered”. Being part of the fencing team to her, is the most wonderful thing that she could have done in high school. Fencing is not as popular as other sports. Those that compete are part of a small community. At tournaments or meets you see familiar faces in your “fencing community”. The idea that the fencing world is so small intrigued Zoe and made her love the sport even more.
Zoe as a freshman, was put into the Epee squad and claims “ it was the best weapon” for her. She won 1st Épée at the Freshman/ Sophomore tournament that same year. As a junior, she helped lift the fencing team at Valley to become back-to-back champions at the Passaic County Championship. Zoe took the No.1 slot in Épée at the Passaic County Championships. The win came as a surprise to herself. “ I never thought I might be among the top three, much less first.” said Zoey. Just last year, she made second- team All-North Jersey, first-team All-County and All-B-PFL Division Honorable mention. To top that off , she made it all the way to place seventh in District 4. Zoe now hopes that the team will be able to do a “ 3 -peat” and succeed in districts and states.
The Wayne Valley Fencing team has a lot to live up to with the Passaic County Championships rapidly approaching in February, but they are ready. They are not just a team, they are all a family. This writer is lucky enough to call herself part of this family. They all support each other throughout everything and luckily Zoe Cronin is there to lead them through it all.