Dear US Squash Supporter,
Thank you so much for your past contributions to US Squash. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, we rely on the commitment of our donors for 20% of our budget each year. Your support allows us to invest in innovation and drive growth.
The last quarterly update focused on our National Team activity. Our work in the first few months of each calendar year then becomes dominated by the National Championships, and this year has been no different with nearly a dozen events hosted recently, starting with the….
Middle School Championships – In the 2017 U.S. Middle School Team Squash Championships, the top seeds Baldwin School and Brunswick School claimed their second and fifth national titles respectively. Baldwin entered as the defending girls’ Division I champions, and the Brunswick Bears defeated 2012 finalists Greenwich Country Day School 4-1 to capture their second consecutive national title.
High School Championships – Haverford avenged its 2016 final loss against Brunswick to win the program’s first national high school 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.
Century Doubles – This season saw the largest U.S. Century Doubles Championships held to date, with a field of 117 teams, and produced three repeat champions across seven divisions.
National Doubles – Denver natives and siblings Preston & Meredeth Quick won their sixth and fourth National Doubles open titles this weekend with respective partners Graham Bassett and Suzie Pierrepont. The tournament, hosted by Denver Athletic Club marked the largest National Doubles ever held west of the Mississippi with 123 teams.
S.L. Green Men’s Championship & National Singles – Chris Hanson hoisted the S.L. Green U.S. Men’s Championship trophy for the first time in his career after a four-game, hour-long final against eighteen-year-old Andrew Douglas. The Philadelphia Cricket Club hosted the 106th National Singles which produced six repeat champions in the fourteen divisions.
National Juniors – For the second consecutive Nationals Juniors, Andrew Douglas and Marina Stefanoni emerged from the weekend as the U19 champions. At fourteen years old, Stefanoni became the youngest junior champion in U.S. history to win two consecutive national titles. One week after a breakthrough run to the final of the S.L. Green U.S. Men’s Championship final, Douglas ended his domestic junior career with his second National Juniors title.
National Hardball Singles – The 2017 National Hardball Singles Championships were held at the Merion Cricket Club with outstanding performances yielding a number of new and repeat National age-division champions.
National Junior Doubles – The 2017 U.S. Junior Doubles Championships yielded nine first-time champions at its perennial homes Wilmington Country Club and Vicmead Hunt Club in Delaware. Forty-four teams competed across nine boys’, girls’ and mixed divisions.
Blatchford Breaks into Top Twenty & Earns First National Title – Team USA’s Olivia Blatchford achieved a career high PSA Tour ranking of world No. 17, and earned her first adult National Championship, defeating Reeham Sedky in an epic five game come-from-behind victory.
Sobhy Down But Not Out – Just six weeks earlier, the 2016 champion and U.S. #1 Amanda Sobhy tore her achilles and was stretchered off court at the Ciudad de Floridablanca tournament in Colombia. After a successful surgery, Sobhy is well into her recovery and plans to come back later this year.
An Increased Emphasis on Sportsmanship – At the U.S. Junior Squash the 2017 DeRoy Sportsmanship Award recipients Julia Buchholz and Salim Khan were honored. One female and one male high school senior who displays exemplary on and off court behavior while competing at a high level of squash receives the honor each year.
Over the last several years, US Squash has taken several major steps towards encouraging more positive behavior on and off the court, including:
- Re-defining our mission to emphasize sportsmanship and adding a fourth strategic and messaging pillar to highlight and include sportsmanship;
- Revising the US Squash Code of Conduct to strengthen it, define infractions, and outline disciplinary actions related to violations, as well as consistently and actively enforcing the Code of Conduct for Players, Parents, Coaches and Attendees by regularly sending notification of violation letters, and applying suspensions in the most egregious cases;
- Elevating the recognition of good sportsmanship through the promotion of national awards, and in 2014 adding a Men’s Sportsmanship award, named in honor of Robert W. Callahan;
- Elevating the awareness of the importance of sportsmanship, and character’s role in squash, through the Character in Sports Day at the U.S. Open beginning in 2014;
- Producing a series of videos featuring “Chet Blitzer” the legendary commentator, celebrity, star and spokesperson. A fictional world champion, Blitzer thinks deeply about the value of sportsmanship in squash, and the many opportunities the sport presents in practicing the virtues of good moral and performance character.
National Center Considerations – And finally, this spring we announced the retaining of Ned Edwards as we consider building a National Center as part of our long term strategic plans. A star at Penn, and the number one ranked amateur in 1979 and 1980, Edwards went on to a remarkable pro career and was ranked number two on the tour for six years. After pro squash, Edwards coached the men’s varsity team at his alma mater in the early 1990’s for six years before moving on to work in a variety of roles, including for real estate developers, the Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management Group, and as a partner at the executive search firm of Ingram & Aydelotte.
We now head into the summer and will focus on fielding an outstanding Junior National Team which will travel to New Zealand, as well as training the next generation of players at the US Squash Academy. In the office, we are well on our way to preparing for implementing the continuous improvements of our support for the sport and the 2017-2018 season coming this fall.
I again wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your support. Your gifts form the foundation upon which we build our future success.