Local teen wins state fencing championship, bonds with father over the sport

[anvplayer video=”5092856″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 NEWS) – Mateo Wilkins is a junior at John Marshall High School, and his love for the sport of fencing brought him closer together with his dad, and it’s something he’ll never forget.

"The best job in the world is being a dad, that’s the best job in the world, coaching just extends it," Kamau Wilkins, Mateo’s dad, and coach said.

It was a moment that Mateo has been waiting for at the state championships, the moment that he would become a state champ.

He takes off his mask in excitement, gives a handshake to his opponent, and he goes right to his dad for a hug, his coach.

"You don’t see anything, you don’t hear anything, I’ve won championships before, and it just becomes tunnel vision. You just focus on the person you care about," Wilkins said.

"I just yelled, it was my chance to feel like an Olympian, they yell and take their helmets off, it was pretty fun," added Mateo Wilkins.

Believe it or not, fencing does not run in this family. Kamau started coaching Mateo when he was in fourth grade, and he’s been hooked ever since.

"It led to bigger and greater things. I just fell in love with the sport right away," said Mateo.

And throughout all of this, Mateo’s dad was right next to him supporting him the whole time.

"I wouldn’t be anywhere in my life without you, this championship isn’t the first and it’s not our last, it’s up there for one of the best."

"I’m excited about the man that you’re becoming, I’m excited about the future you have ahead of you, you do something that makes me proud every day. Right? And this is just another one," said Kamau.