A ceremony during the 2017 U.S. Junior Squash Championships at Harvard University Saturday evening announced the 2017 DeRoy Sportsmanship Award recipients, Julia Buchholz and Salim Khan, and the 2017 William T. Ketcham, Jr. Most Improved Player Awards.
The DeRoy Sportsmanship Award is awarded to one female and one male high school senior who displays exemplary on and off court behavior while competing at a high level of squash.
Buchholz, a Flourtown, Pennsylvania native and Philadelphia Cricket Club player, helped lead Team Pennsylvania to win the 2015 Regional Team Championship title.
“I have come to realize when a ref gives me a call I disagree with, that one, there is no use arguing, they are not going to change their decision, and two, i cannot let calls get in the way of my focus,” Buchholz said. “It’s really not worth getting caught up in the drama. I feel that the best thing to do is to move on, and hit tighter shots so your opponent doesn’t have to call a let!”
Buchholz attends Germantown Academy and is undecided on where she will attend college. Buchholz said 2015 DeRoy recipient Olivia Fiechter has been a major role model in her junior squash career.
“I have a lot of role models and people who I look up to on and off the squash court, and when I’m on court, I remind myself to carry myself as if young kids who look up to me are watching,” Buchholtz said. “Olivia is not only my role model, but she is also my biggest supporter. She motivates me to be my best self on and off the court. One of my goals is to inspire others the way she inspires me.”
Khan, a Seattleite, plays his squash at the Pro Sports Club and attends Bellevue High School. Khan has represented Team USA at the Battle of the Border and the British Junior Open and will attend George Washington University in the fall.
“I think it’s important to set the example for younger players,” Khan said. “Spencer Lovejoy and Dylan Murray were players I looked up to. I think sportsmanship should be the main priority when you’re playing squash. You should always call your balls down and double bounces. If the ball goes out, call it out. If you hit the other player with the ball, you should play a let. Even if your parents or coaches aren’t happy when you call your own balls down, it’s about how you play not always the result.”
The William T. Ketcham Jr. Award for Most Improved Player recognizes players who have demonstrated complete dedication to the sport by significantly raising the level of their game. The boy and girl in each division who displayed the largest increase in ranking from March 16, 2016 to March 1, 2017 and also qualified for and competed in the 2017 U.S. Junior Squash Championships will receive the award. Please note that in order to be considered for this award, players needed a ranking in the same division on both March 16, 2016 and on March 1, 2017. This year’s recipients are:
Girls’ Under 11 – Alexandra Jaffe (improved 35 positions)
Girls’ Under 11 – Audrey Gelinas (improved 35 positions)
Girls’ Under 13 – Mary Kacergis (improved 62 positions)
Girls’ Under 15 – Charlotte E. Bell (improved 48 positions)
Girls’ Under 17 – Lily Seckendorf (improved 87 positions)
Girls’ Under 19 – Julie Yeung (improved 54 positions)
Boys’ Under 11 – Ryan Kim (improved 76 positions)
Boys’ Under 13 – Gabriel M. Thin (improved 87 positions)
Boys’ Under 15 – Alec H. Spiro (improved 78 positions)
Boys’ Under 17 – Thomas P. Rosini (improved 108 positions)
Boys’ Under 19 – Charles Culhane (improved 27 positions)