With almost everyone at Greenwich High School gone for the night, a squeaking of shoes and patter of feet can be heard as you enter the gymnasium.

There, Harry McGuire faces a group of fellow students, hopping toward them with his arm raised in front of him then quickly retreating as the other students begin to move toward him.

The feet move rapidly, never crossing with one toe always facing front.

It is not a dance class but rather the opening moments of practice for the GHS fencing team.

The fencers are working on the most important aspect of their craft, footwork, and they repeat the exercise with different members of the team taking the lead position.

When one thinks fencing, clashing foils or sabres may be the first thought, but how well a fencer moves their feet is just as, if not, more important.

"Footwork and coordination," Greenwich head coach Donald Grunewald said. "I think it is the most important thing in fencing."

Grunewald is in his first year as the head coach at Greenwich after being an assistant last season.

Under Grunewald, the boys team is off to a 3-0 start, due in large part to the contributions McGuire, who competes in foil and has been mowing down the competition thus far.

McGuire competes in foil with sophomore Pierce Chapin competing in epee and sophomore Misha Shender competing in sabre.

"The boys are smashing the competition," Grunewald said. "They are undefeated and competing well. The girls are doing OK, they are kind of a mediocre team this year, but are doing pretty well."

The girls team is not off to as fast of a start as the boys, but have been competitive in all three matches with Nika Shender and Juliette McGuiness leading the way.

McGuire has been fencing for 8 years and aside from the two-hour, four-day a week schedule of the GHS team, he practices at the Fencer's Club in Manhattan three or four times a week and competes in both Cadets and Juniors in national events.

McGuire will travel to Baltimore in two weeks to compete in the Junior Olympics, but enjoys the team aspect of high school fencing as a departure from the individuality associated with club fencing.

"It is more of a team," McGuire said. "Fencer's club is more individual, so, the team part of it is really fun for me. High school fencing is kind of a different style. Outside of this team the only time you don't fence much is the summer. Luckily this year the travel has been mostly on the east coast and Junior Olympics is in Baltimore."

McGuire is not alone in his dedication as most of the team competes outside of GHS year round, according to Grunewald, though Chapin began fencing at the high school and has taken to the sport quickly.

"Pierce is really good and he started out here last year," Grunewald said. "He hasn't really fenced outside and has really blossomed just by going to practice and picking it up."

The team has two more matches in the regular season before gearing up for the state championships, March 2 and 9 in New Haven.