Thousands of junior squash players of all levels across the country compete and enjoy squash as a regular part of their lives. Each year, hundreds graduate from junior squash while retaining the values practiced in the sport, the close and enduring friendships they have formed, and with an enduring love for squash as a lifelong sport.
Over the coming weeks, US Squash will be celebrating the members of the high school Class of 2020 in an ongoing series where each student athlete reflects upon their experiences in junior squash. If you are a high school senior and have not already submitted your own picture and reflection, please follow these instructions to do so.
Read the first installment of the series here.
US Squash Senior Class of 2020 Gift Initiative
In honor of the culmination of the entire class’s junior squash journey.
In support of US Squash junior development programs.
The Senior Class of 2020 has come together with a Class Gift initiative seeking to establish the precedent for graduating classes to come together in celebration of the entire class’s achievements, on and off the court, and in support of US Squash’s junior development programs. It will be the first senior class gift and will cement the Class of 2020’s legacy, which is only appropriate in these extraordinary times. Recognition of this leadership initiative will endure with a plaque at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center.
For more information visit the Class of 2020 Gift page.
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Andrew Barr | UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
What makes a person who they are? What shapes a person most throughout their lives? Community. The people with whom we surround ourselves mold our beliefs and values. Typically community influences include the people living around us, classmates, neighbors, and family. Squash has allowed me to develop friendships with a diverse group of people from backgrounds unlike mine. Our love of squash brought us together; living the squash life of hotels, travel, and homework on the courts bonded us for life. Moreover, having virtually an entirely separate life apart from my peers in Michigan gave me a chance to get away from the stresses of high school. Although the squash world had its own pressures and difficulties, the change of communities is a life reset button that most people do not have the luxury to experience.
Emma Carney | STANFORD UNIVERSITY
I am fortunate for the countless opportunities squash has given me and the relationships I have made during my junior squash career. I never thought my coaches, mentors or competitors would turn out to be some of my most trusted and closest friends. I am also incredibly lucky that so much of my junior squash career was spent with my siblings. Although traumatizing for my parents, traveling to tournaments with my three brothers was both enjoyable and highly entertaining. Some of my family’s favorite memories are from the tournaments we traveled to together (including eight year old Tad routinely getting letters from US Squash’s conduct police). To be able to share something so significant with my family is truly special to me. It is unsettling to leave such an important part of my life behind, but I look forward to what lies ahead.
William Evans | WILLIAMS COLLEGE
It’s hard to express the gratitude I have for squash in so few words. This game has taught me so much about discipline and perseverance and has taught me so much about myself over the past 8 years and I know I’ll be playing it for many years to come. It’s just starting to hit me that my junior career is over, and more than anything I just want to say thank you to everyone that’s guided me and coached me throughout these years. In particular, I want to thank Peter Nicol, Jess Winstanley, Jamal Callender, Eric Christiansen, Clinton Leeuw and Carl Baglio for teaching me to love the game and more importantly helping me develop into the person I am today off court. Finally (and most importantly), I want to say thank you to my Dad. My dad has supported me through every single win, loss, and long weekend throughout my entire junior career. As is probably true for many of us players, I know I don’t always take enough time to express my gratitude to you, Dad, but what you’ve done for me all these years means the world to me. Thank you for always being there!
Whitney Finney | DICKINSON COLLEGE
“Squash has always been a family affair. Because Lancaster is a small but growing squash community, my mother has consistently driven me an hour away so I could play in clinics and take lessons. Some of my fondest memories are of our entire family playing every weekend at Franklin & Marshall College. In addition to school squash I was very lucky to work with Squash Aces at F&M and to participate in the Squashwise Junior Rally playing for “Juniors for Jerve” in Baltimore. I learned that I love working with kids and sharing my love of squash. I think this comes from having strong mentors over a long period of time—at F&M Coach Jones and Coach Koenig, at Meadow Mill Athletic Club Coach Omar Sobhy, LCDS coaches, the many members of Lancaster Squash who were always willing to hop on court with a 4’ 11” girl and at Berwyn Squash—particularly Dominic Hughes, Joe Millman, and Joyce Davenport. I can’t wait to play in college against many of my GU19 peers, including my cousin Eva who will play at Middlebury. Go Red Devils!
Katherine Glaser | PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
Squash has taught me how to be resilient and uncompromising, how to be a good teammate and how to be a good leader, some of the most valuable lessons of my life. When I was out for a year for ACL surgery I learned that through hard work and dedication combined with strong support from teammates and friends, you can accomplish anything. I am so grateful for the bonds I have made with the other players through squash that I know will last a lifetime. I am so excited for us all to take the next step in our squash careers but I know that none of us will forget our time together on the Junior Circuit and the impact junior squash has had on us.
Penelope Oh | UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Playing squash and being part of the squash community has been such an impactful part of my high school experience. I think that squash is so unique in that it fosters an extremely close and tight knit community. Junior squash has been such a great way to meet new people and I am so grateful that it has allowed me to make many friends, and some of my closest friends. As I look ahead at college squash, I am excited to be playing on a team with some of these friends. And while it will be strange competing without or against former high school teammates, I am so glad that through playing squash I will be able to stay in touch with them and see them on the college circuit.
Sameer Saxena | COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Squash has been a transformative experience for me over the past 7-8 years. Not only has squash kept me fit, but it has taught me how to handle my nerves during critical moments and has provided me with an outlet that alleviates any type of stress. When I play squash, I don’t think, I just become immersed in the game; it is a passion which I hope to pursue as long as I can play. While playing competitively is a tough journey, it is incredibly rewarding and teaches you a great deal about grit and perseverance. The squash community is one of the friendliest and most supportive I have ever seen: they are the reason I have continued to play the game. The friends I have made at my club, Fairmount Athletic Club (Scozzie/S2 Squash), are lifelong and have pushed me to greater heights. Playing on the Episcopal Academy Varsity squash team has also been one of my favorite experiences throughout high school. Reaching the High School Nationals finalsp in my senior year will forever be one of my favorite memories. My teammates have become some of my closest friends and the thrill of representing my school at the highest level is a tremendous feeling. I am beyond excited to continue to play at Columbia University.
Meghna Sreedhar | YALE UNIVERSITY
Squash has had a great influence on my life for the past 9 years. I have learned so much from people I have met, the competitive atmosphere of the game, and the experiences that I have had. This journey has been filled with some of the most rewarding and impactful memories that have shaped the person I am today. My family and coaches who have stuck by me and supported me every step of the way have been a constant in my life that have provided me with comfort and encouragement. I am so thankful for all the opportunities that US Squash has provided and look forward to being part of this community in college and beyond.
Conner Stoltz | HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Playing junior squash has been undoubtedly one of the most important parts of my childhood and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Through the ups and downs, it taught me sportsmanship, strategy, how to continue on in difficult times, and of course, it kept me in good shape. I could not have had any of these great squash experiences without my parents and the organization and dedication of the us squash team, so I want to sincerely thank them for everything. Also, I cherish all of the relationships and great people I have met and become friends with through the game of squash and am looking forward to continuing my play in college next year. Once again, thank you.
Olivia Walsh | UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Thank you to US squash for giving me the opportunity to make so many great memories and friends!
Jack Winston | BOWDOIN COLLEGE
Junior squash has helped me develop so many friendships and has given me a second family. All of my competitors pushed me to work harder each year just to keep up with them and I couldn’t imagine my life if I hadn’t picked up a squash racket.
If you are a high school senior and have not already submitted your own picture and reflection, please follow these instructions to do so.