As many of you may be aware, the final sentence of The Catcher in the Rye is: “Don't tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” Now, perhaps J.D. Salinger was not talking about my tournament reports in this famous ending, but perhaps, for a moment, we may pretend that he was indeed sending a warning directly to me!
To paraphrase for those not quite following the idea… “beware writing a tournament report, you may inadvertently miss a youngsters fine achievement and that would be sad”. Now, that being said, this past weekend was a huge one on the Squash Tigers World, so my sincere apologies in advance for the inevitable omissions I may make as there was just so much darn excellence on offer!
Let us begin, as most pleasing stories often do, at home. Squash Tigers hosted a fine US Squash Silver - offering some of our up and comers a chance to compete on home courts for points to rise up those national rankings. As one would expect, we had podium finishes up and down the, well, podiums, with coaches impressed by both play and sportsmanship of our ST crew.
The BU11 saw Tony waltz away with the win, reminding us that it is Tony’s world, we just live in it - although Jesse made a spirited showing in making the final. Shout out to Ronnie, who finished 6th and has consistently made all the coaches proud of his efforts this summer and continual improvement!
The BU13 starred Jayden and Evan, who finished in 2nd and 3rd places respectively. Jayden was excellent in making his first final and playing up, the “Real Evan Chen” demonstrated why we do appreciate his effort. Shout out to another 6th placer, Julian, who is making a nice recovery from his rather nasty early summer injury sustained at the Penn Gold - bigger things ahead for them all!
The BU15 and BU17 featured Dhruv and Ayan respectively finishing with the Bronze. Never as much fun as Gold, but a medal nonetheless, well done boys. Final ST Silver Shoutout to our final 6th placer Allen, a coach favorite, working hard and improving every week.
Last, but never least, a thank you especially to Coach Jamie and Coach Claire for all their hard work - a long week of camp, then a perfect tournament, truly our coaches can do it all!
The bigger Big Dogs were primarily in Rhode Island for the penultimate US Squash Summer Gold, the Newport Steamer. Rhode Island is somewhat famous for 400 odd miles of glorious coastline, some rather idiosyncratic seafood and the Newport Steamer, which has always been well fun, friendly and popular for players and parents alike.
Getting the big news out of the way, congratulations to our three winners, Colton (BU17), Isabella (GU19) and Reghan (GU17). Summer Golds are the shark tanks of the junior world at the moment, with some draws looking like mini-JCT’s and to pull off five straight victories in the heat is no small feat!
In more detail, our top two in the BU17 were Colton, the winner, and Alex who finished in 3rd place after a nail biting loss to his ST colleague in the semi. Pity about the draw, but that’s squash and I know both boys will be setting their sights on their inevitable meetings back in the JCT spotlight!
Sean continued his absolutely spectacular summer with yet another final in the BU19. Work hard, play harder, it’s been awesome to have the big guy here this summer setting an example for the youngsters on and off court. Andover is going to be a tough team for anyone to get over this high school season if this is any indication!
JJ would be disappointed with a semi-final loss in the BU15 and there’s always more to come, and he was joined by Yiden who made a BU11 semi and Mimi back in the GU13 quarters. Great work from our rather diverse three musketeers, well done!
The final part of our Squash Tiger reportage goes to the Battle of the Borders. BoB is our annual US / Canada friendly, this time conducted in the wilds of Philly at the National Center. Results are a little hard to read, but from a distance it appears we won, with Claire undefeated and Eric splitting his matches. Both are amongst our ST favorites, good to see them in a US shirt and getting to play some fresh faces!
Our thoughts turn to the final Gold of the Summer next weekend, this time in Detroit. From Rhode Island to Detroit, truly US Squash is spanning some diverse landscapes this month! We have a dozen of the crew attending and Zoom coaching will be out in full force - I’m looking forward to virtually visiting Detroit and to a continuation of our best ever ST Summer results!
At the club it’s a boasting week and next Monday begins the official start of “Planning Season” - a chance to sit down and go over season training and competition plans. Fall is approaching, but let’s enjoy some seriously hard work and good fun before our academic concerns come and bite us on our collective posteriors come September!