By Molly Davidson
The seventh annual U.S. Middle School Team Squash Championships took place at Yale University’s Brady Squash Center January 31-February 2. Haverford took home the Boys’ Division I title and Greenwich Academy, once again, dominated the Girls’ Division I competition, taking the title for the third straight year.
This year’s tournament saw a 33% increase in participation as 358 boys and girls from fifty-nine teams made the trip to New Haven, Connecticut, to compete across multiple divisions. Two new divisions—Girls’ Division II and Boys’ Division III—were introduced this year to accommodate the large number of new teams.
The growth of team squash at this level is a positive sign, according to Haverford coach Jamie Macaulay. “I think there are very few opportunities before college where we learn to have complete faith in our peers and feel they have faith in us. Team squash is a unique way to experience this, and I see those participating at a middle school level learning high school lessons about trust, teamwork and leadership.”
Haverford captured the Boys’ Division I title in a tightly-contested 3-2 final against Greenwich Country Day School. Samuel Turner, Peter Miller and Tyler Burt accounted for Haverford’s three wins while Greenwich Country Day School’s two points came from their No. 1 William Holey and No. 4 Connor Santry, each winning in five-game marathon matches.
Haverford had reached the semifinals in 2013, and Macaulay credited teamwork for putting them over the top this season.
“The kids played for each other this year. The level of support from the players and the parents was really exceptional as I’m sure anyone who heard the noise around Haverford’s courts over the weekend would agree.” The tradition of Haverford’s varsity team also served as inspiration to the middle school squad, according to Macaulay. “It clearly inspires them. I think every middle school squash program in the country would like to have role models like our high school,” Macaulay added. “Those guys show the middle schoolers what it means to be a member of a Haverford squash team, and what that means is hard work, dedication and success.”
Greenwich Academy defended their Girls’ Division I title as their Green Team defeated the Agnes Irwin team in a definitive five matches. The GA Green Team, led by Claire Aube and Emma Mactaggart at the top of the lineup, easily advanced to the final, completing the weekend without dropping a match and, remarkably, only losing one game throughout the tournament. This marks the third straight year that Greenwich Academy has won this event without losing a game.
Brunswick School (CT) picked up the Boys’ Division II title with a 5-0 win over Rye Middle School (NY). The two newest divisions were won by Bala Cynwyd/Welsh Valley (PA), which took home the Girls’ Division II title, and New Canaan Country School (CT), who topped the Boys’ Division III round robin.