Haverford avenged its 2016 final loss against Brunswick to win the program’s first high school national title, while Greenwich Academy continued its historic girls’ division 1 dominance with a tenth title to conclude the 2017 HEAD U.S. High School Team Squash Championships in snowy central Connecticut.
The largest squash tournament in the world involved nearly 1,500 players on 105 boys teams—a tournament record—and seventy-six girls teams competing across twelve divisions at the Westminster School, Avon Old Farms, Loomis Chaffee, Choate Rosemary Hall and Wesleyan University.
After claiming the first the Patterson Cup in 2005 when the girls’ division was introduced to the tournament, Greenwich Academy has now won an astounding ten out of twelve titles. For the third consecutive year their final opponent came in the form of the Baldwin School, who upset Greenwich in the final two years ago when the tournament was last held in Hartford. This year at Avon Old Farms, GA delivered a 6-1 victory to claim their unprecedented tenth Patterson Cup.
“Very proud of the girls for how they performed under difficult circumstances through a difficult season,” said Luke Butterworth, Greenwich Academy Director of Squash. “We’ve had our ups and downs with injuries, a packed schedule, snow days and other factors. So coming into this tournament knowing we would have tough competition and to play the way that we did, makes me proud as a coach. We played some great squash, every girl should be proud of the way they played. To win the tenth title for GA, makes me a bit nostalgic. Thanks to everyone in the Greenwich community from past years who have dedicated the time and efforts to squash, our wonderful sport, and here we are today with a fresh bunch of GA girls carrying on the Greenwich communities pride in squash. It makes me proud to win the tenth title for the community.”
Butterworth praised Baldwin who has become a national rival for Greenwich over the past few years.
“They put up a great fight, credit to their girls for training hard and working on their games,” Butterworth said. “We know that each year when we come to this event we need to be on our best form playing against some top players who showed they were up for the fight. We just had to keep our focus high and on playing good squash.”
Meanwhile at Westminster, Haverford’s top five players earned the Philadelphia school its first high school national title in tournament history with a 5-2 win over the Bruins. Last year in Philadelphia, Brunswick defeated Haverford 4-3 to win their second consecutive national title.
“It’s been an overwhelming first year as director of squash, but the parents helped a lot and the boys make me look good,” said Assad Khan, who ends his first season as Haverford Director of Squash with a national title. “It feels great to win our first title. I’m hoping for many more to come. Brunswick is a tough rival and next year there will be other teams that are tougher too. We just need to keep working hard on our depth, enjoy the moment for the next few weeks, then get back to work.”
Khan said last year’s loss helped motivate the Fords this year.
“They were hungry, I had to keep them calm most importantly, but they were hungry,” Khan said. “They had learned their lessons and I think that was the most important part, let their rackets do the talking and not talking off the court. I think the guys did a good job with their sportsmanship and respect for the ref, which I was proud of. It’s easy to get carried away in those passionate moments when everyone wants to win. So sportsmanship is very important, and I couldn’t have been more proud of the way the boys played.”
Khan said the Fords were thankful the final was played, despite snowy conditions all weekend.
“More importantly, thanks to US Squash for organizing this huge event,” Khan said. “US Squash could have easily canceled today, or this weekend as a whole with the weather. So I’m thankful to them for holding the tournament, we had three seniors this year who wanted nothing more than to win a national title before they left.”
For all results from the twelve divisions, visit the U.S. High School Team Squash Championships page.
View images from Avon Old Farms on the US Squash Smugmug gallery.