By Jay D. Prince, Editor in Chief
One of the most heart-warming times of the year is when the DeRoy Sportsmanship Award is given out by US Squash. Sadly, most of us have witnessed players and parents succumbing to the pressures of junior squash and their resulting tantrums. Though exhibited by a small number, those unsportsmanlike moments standout for their volatility.
Which is precisely what makes the recipients of the DeRoy so impressive. More often than not, the boy and girl receiving the award have not only played at a high level, but they’ve also been at the top of their respective divisions and even represented the U.S. in international play.
Despite seeing a lot of junior squash over the past decade, I am, unfortunately, unfamiliar with Derek Hsue. However, I have watched Olivia Fiechter since she was tearing up the under-13 and have always marveled at her poise both on and off court.
I’ve seen Olivia win matches easily as well as pull-off tight matches in five games. I’ve also witnessed her lose matches that, quite frankly, she probably should have won. But win or lose, she’s always done it with grace and respect for the game and her opponents. Given the nature of the DeRoy, I’m certain that Derek fits that bill as well.
We would all do well to pay attention to these fine young people. Their examples are worthy of our respect and admiration.