Celebrating the Class of 2020: Third Installment

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 other installments of the series here: June 24,  July 10August 5.

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.

Make a Gift

Looking back on all these years of training and tournaments, the most precious memories to me are the ones I share with my teammates, coaches, and family. These people shared every single moment of this eye-opening, decade-long experience with me. They were always there for me and supported me at an exhilarating and competitive team match, when my legs were weak and burning from an exhausting ghosting session, or through my failures and successes. Junior squash has positively reshaped and redefined my life. The best thing about this incredible sport is that every squash player has his or her own talent and skill set, which makes each player unique and ultimately makes the sport more diverse and empowering. Personally, the sport has taught me to be persistent, goal-oriented, and self-accepting. After the countless hours of training, fitness, and solo sessions, the most important thing I’ve learned is to appreciate that my weaknesses don’t necessarily have to be weaknesses. Squash has helped me understand the importance, and competitive advantage, of learning to love who you are and believing that there’s always an opportunity for success.
My junior squash experience at Access Youth Academy has been years of fun, growth in squash, and networking. Competing in and training for tournaments has taught me dedication, and discipline. The most memorable experience I had as a junior squash player was competing in SEA Team Nationals in New York, and winning second place. This and so many more memories alongside my friends and instructors at Squash has left me with a respect and love for squash.
The sport has meant so much to be over the past years, and I am so excited to continue playing in college.
Squash has been and will remain a very significant part of my life. Squash has taught me the importance of discipline, resilience, and determination. I am confident that I will apply these skills to all aspects of my life. I am grateful for the experiences of traveling around the country for the past 10 years and building lasting relationships with my coaches, other players, and their parents and coaches. It has been great fun, and I cannot wait to see everyone again both on and off court.
From the moment I first picked up a squash racket I fell in love with the sport. After school I would look forward to playing, I found it was a much more enjoyable racket sport than tennis, which I soon after dropped. Junior squash has improved my patience, dignity and overall confidence, and for that I am grateful.
Junior squash has taught me the importance of diligence, hard work, and perseverance which help me not only on the squash court, but in all aspects of my life. I have made so many great friends through tournaments and camps who consistently push me hard and support me while also providing good competition. My favorite memories from junior squash are from the high school nationals tournament every year and getting to play my friends in the team environment.
Squash has presented me with endless opportunities that I am so grateful for. Throughout my time playing squash, I have learned the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork, and hardwork. The friendships that this sport has brought me are ones that go far outside of the court, and all of the memories I have made are ones I will carry with me for a long time. Among the memories is playing and cheerign for my Agnes Irwin teammates who are just like family to me. I want to thank US Squash for all the work that they do to make this all possible.
Ivan Paredes | University of Southern California
As I reflect on my experience playing squash, I’m amazed at how great of an impact the sport has had on my life in just the past 2 years. I fell in love with the sport instantly and I could not thank MetroSquash enough for the amazing opportunities they gave me. From making life-long friends to interviewing some of the best pro players in the world, the memories I made playing squash are unforgettable.
My junior squash career, spanning over 10 years now, is something that is incredibly meaningful to me and I wouldn’t trade for anything. It has been invaluable to my growth as a person, teaching me life lessons that I would have been hard pressed to learn if I did not play sports competitively at a high level. Squash has taught me grit, respect, sportsmanship, and the value of hard work. Many of my closest friends I have met through the sport, and it has afforded me the opportunity to travel places I may never have gone otherwise. I feel extremely lucky to have something in my life that I love to do and am passionate about. Squash is an outlet for me to express my athletic, creative, and competitive energy. I love to compete, but not only am I driven by competition, but also by the love of the game.
What squash has meant to me has been lots of hard work, learning, and friends.
Lily Seckendorf | BROWN UNIVERSITY
“Since squash centers closed recently, I’ve been running most afternoons, slowly shifting my legs from squash to jogging mode. I’ve reached a few realizations: how can I be so bad at this, I thought I was an athlete, how do people keep up with this for entire marathons, etc. But the most important realization was how fortunate I am to have squash so I don’t have to run everyday in order to stay in shape like the rest of the world. I now see my incredible fortune in that the sport I play brings me joy while doing it, not just a rush of “I can’t feel my legs but at least I’m not in pain anymore” afterwards. I love every aspect of squash, but especially the people. It is common that the people you play the most become your closest friends. After each match, no matter how competitive, you must sit with your opponent to ref. You get to know them and work together even though you may have wanted to destroy them a few minutes earlier. The friends I have grown up with and played countless times are the ones who make the sport so special to me. “
It has been a privilege to be a part of junior squash. I have met some of the nicest people through squash in the United States and across the world. One of my favorite memories was when I traveled to Argentina in September of 2015 when I was twelve with Coach Paul Assaiante for the Pan Am Juniors. I remember seeing Coach fulfill his promise and jump into an ice-cold swimming pool when the boys’ team upset Mexico to win Gold.


If you are a high school senior and have not already submitted your own picture and reflection, please follow these instructions to do so.