Landers Athlete of the Week: Jakarri Kent - February 10 - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Landers Athlete of the Week: Jakarri Kent - February 10

AOW Jakarri Kent AOW Jakarri Kent
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

You never know when the course of your life will change.  It could happen at school, at home, at work or even just driving down the road.

That's exactly what happened to Byrd senior Jakarri Kent, who says an everyday car ride has set his life on different course.

"I was actually dropping off my little cousin with my mom to daycare down the street and then I saw fencing."

Jakarri says he asked his mother to stop at the Fairfield Avenue School of Fencing in Shreveport.

"I was just mind blown. So many articles and photos and banners and jackets."

It's also where Jakarri Kent first fell in love with the sport of fencing.  The Fairfield Avenue School is Fencing doubles as a training facility and the only American fencing museum in the country.

Nicci Hardeman, Jakarri’s mother, said, "When I first walked in here, I was like what is this. What kind of sport is this? I've never really seen fencing."

Since he walked through the doors two years ago, Jakarri has gone from an amateur, to being one of the best fencers in the region. 
 

The C.E. Byrd senior is currently ranked #3 in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas in his division.

He said, "People just think that it's just poking when you're actually getting into somebody's head, trying to figure out what they are doing. How can you prevent them from hitting you? It's something you have to experience to understand."

Nicci added, "I'm so proud of my son. Fencing is not like basketball or football. So in the beginning it was very hard for me to understand. I was yelling at the wrong thing. He was telling me mom be quiet. I didn't get the point, somebody else got the point. I really didn't understand it but I'm so proud of him."

Jakarri's coach and owner of Fairfield Fencing, Andy Shaw, is a fencing legend in his own right and is also USA Fencing's official historian.

Shaw said, "I try to keep the memory alive of other people who are famous in our sport who achieved a lot, even if they were creepy people. I don't care what they were like as people."

As for Jakarri, life has changed over the past few years. He's gotten to travel and meet other fencers from around the globe but he says the most important effect the sport has had on him is becoming a better person.  

"It has definitely changed me as a person, being kind and respecting other people but still having a battle mentality."

His mother said, "He used to have a little attitude. He used to walk around all grumpy, you know, and a little cocky. Fencing has changed his life."

"It's classy. It's structured. It's fencing, that's what it is,” said Jakarri. 

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