While other 10-year-olds might be found playing basketball or baseball, junior Spencer Deats was involved in something different.
Cloaked in all white, a mask to protect his face and sabre in hand, Deats spent his free time fencing.
“Initially, I was just showing up because my parents told me to,” Deats said. “But after a little while, I grew to really love the people there and eventually grew to develop a love for the sport.”
Growing up fencing, Deats knew he wanted to continue his passion for the game. With no colleges in his home state of Kansas offering any sort of fencing club or program, he looked further to find the Ball State fencing club.
“Ball State was somewhere that popped up and had a fencing club, for which I had initially applied under,” Deats said. “When I visited, I really liked the feel of the campus. I just ended up going here.”
Since coming to Ball State three years ago, Deats has continued his success in the sport. He won the Purdue Fall Open and placed second at the Indiana Spring Open in the D ranking. There are six rankings: A, B, C, D, E and U. Deats has the highest ranking among club fencers at Ball State.
“Usually for the rest of us, most of the people that come here don’t even get past a D ranking, including myself,” senior Katie Geer said. “To actually see Deats compete at that level was astounding.”
After traveling from school to school for the past few years, the club will be hosting an event for the first time in three years. The tournament is set to take place April 13 at the Ball State Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
As the date approaches, the team is excited to host again and hopes that this tournament will stand as a staple in the college fencing community.
“In a way to attract more people and get our name back out there,” Deats said. “I think that it’s going to be long and probably a little bit stressful day. Hopefully, it should work out to be a good learning experience — something that we can continue to do in future semesters.”