Athletes of the Issue: Walter Erenhouse: Furious Fencer
Walter Erenhouse ’19 has been a skilled and passionate power behind Boys Varsity Fencing for two-and-a-half years.
Erenhouse started fencing as a sophomore at Hopkins because he saw the sport as an interesting and unique opportunity: “Fencing is unlike any other sport on the planet and if you’re just starting out, you have to be ready to change the way you think and start completely from scratch, even if you’re an experienced athlete.”
Although Erenhouse was drawn to fencing in an unlikely manner, he quickly grew to love the sport and enjoy the competition of it. “I probably wouldn’t have tried fencing if there wasn’t an athletic requirement at Hopkins, but I chose fencing out of all the other choices I had because I never liked traditional high-school sports and fencing seemed different and unique,” he discloses.
Erenhouse’s teammates describe him as driven, passionate, welcoming, and supportive. One of his co-captains, Lizabeth Bamgboye ’20, said, “This year we welcomed so many new fencers. He was great at making them feel at home. I feel I speak for the team when I say that he has helped create an environment in which both new and returning fencers feel like they have a place on the team.” She continued, “Since I began fencing, he’s been there with his great attitude and work ethic. Co-captaining with him has been the greatest experience ever. He brings a certain attitude that rounds the captains out.”
Lucas Alfaro ’22 agreed “As a captain, Walter makes everyone feel welcome. He comes up with new ways to make working out fun and he leads Sabre by encouraging everyone and giving them a chance.”
At first, Erenhouse said he thought captainhood was unachievable but now he realizes, “all a captain needs is passion, and that passion is what drives the rest of the team forward.” Erenhouse has definitely achieved this. Caroline Asnes ’21 describes him as, “a great captain[,] he’s easy to talk to, funny, and kind...he keeps us focused and helps us improve.”
Erenhouse is not only a successful captain but also a successful fencer. He has had multiple podium finishes outside of Hopkins and even earned a national rating of E18. Erenhouse said, “winning 3rd place at the team state championships last year is one of the best memories I have, but I also love just hanging out and training with my team everyday.”
Even with success Erenhouse remembers to stay modest: “I’ve learned confidence but I’ve also learned how to be humble because even though my hard work has given me great results, I’ve also seen how much more I have to improve.” He relies on teammates and their positive encouragement as much as they rely on him: “Seeing my teammates get better helps me push myself, and the fact that they’re relying on me helps motivate me to do my best.”
With Erenhouse’s passion for fencing, he knows he will continue to fence after high school: “I will defnitely be fencing after Hopkins, whether that means fencing on a college team or for a local club.” But he does not want to move on too fast: “Right now, Hopkins fencing is defnitely one of the strongest teams in the state, but we also have an amazing opportunity right now since over half of our team is new this year. So right now we’re focusing on our dominance right now and making sure we stay dominant for years to come.”