US Squash Junior Sportsmanship Awards Announced

The US Squash Junior Sportsmanship Award recipients have been announced for the 2019-2020 junior squash season.

The US Squash Sportsmanship Awards recognize eight junior squash players who displayed outstanding sportsmanship throughout the season and were set to compete in the 2020 U.S. Junior Squash Championships.

For the first time this season, players were asked to identify any player who had displayed exceptional sportsmanship during the event in the post tournament survey. Additionally, US Squash asked coaches to nominate any player that they felt had displayed a high level of sportsmanship consistently throughout the season. US Squash selected the award recipients based on this community feedback.

The 2019-2020 DeRoy Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes two graduating seniors in the U19 divisions, will be announced on Friday, April 10.

US Squash Junior Sportsmanship Award Recipients:

GU17: Eliza Mills (Stamford, CT)
BU17: David Beeson (Riverside, CT)
GU15: Sarita Popat (Short Hills, NJ)
BU15: Isaac Mitchell (Baltimore, MD)
GU13: Zaina Zaidi (Houston, TX)
BU13: Aiden Shap (Brooklyn, NY)
GU11: Minnie Kim (Orinda, CA)
BU11: Miles Goulding (Greenwich, CT)

The US Squash Junior Sportsmanship Honorable Mention Award recognizes ten junior squash players who displayed outstanding sportsmanship throughout the season and were set to compete in the 2020 U.S. Junior Silver Squash Championships. The awards were determined by community feedback.

US Squash Junior Sportsmanship Honorable Mention Award Recipients:
Eva Finney (Lutherville, MD)
BU19: Toby Goldston (Brooklyn, NY)
GU17: Isabella Ronda (Brooklyn, NY)
BU17: Caleb Boateng (Bronx, NY)
GU15: Anika Goyal (Rumson, NJ)
BU15: Milo Friedman (Los Angeles, CA)
GU13: Helen Wood (New York, NY)
BU13: Luke Clifford (Weston, MA)
GU11: Alina Sitwat (Baltimore, MD)
BU11: Peter Pierce (Bryn Mawr, PA)

Sportsmanship Award recipients will be celebrated on US Squash’s Instagram and Twitter over the coming weeks. US Squash congratulates all award recipients. Though these awards could not be presented in person, it does not diminish the importance of maintaining good sportsmanship and integrity over the course of this season. Please read reactions submitted by many of these student-athletes below.

Emma Mills (GU17):
Growing up playing squash, good sportsmanship was never something I really thought about. I just wanted to get on court, hit the ball, and see what I could do. Playing tournaments is a whole different experience to playing squash. There are many outside factors that start to appear in your mind. I would define good sportsmanship as not letting those outside factors affect your game and who you are on and off the court. Good sportsmanship is playing squash with just your head, your racquet, and your feet, regardless of any bad calls or the pressure that you may feel during a match. It is about accepting challenge with a good attitude and determination. Being able to win a match on your ability alone is one of the best feelings, and by being a good sport I can work hard while having fun. Good sportsmanship also includes keeping your head when you may be losing, which makes you a stronger player both mentally and tactically. Good sportsmanship is important to me, because it serves as a reminder of why I started playing squash in the first place. Good sportsmanship allows me to play my hardest and have fun, regardless of results. I feel that I can not play to the best of my ability when I get caught up in the stresses of a match. Being a good sport makes the game more enjoyable for everyone.

David Beeson (BU17):
I think sportsmanship is the ability to stay composed and respectful in any situation you’re put into. It’s easy to be nice and relaxed when you’re winning and in control, but the real test of sportsmanship is when you feel like nothing is working for you; whether it’s a bad referee or you just can’t hit your shots, good sportsmanship is staying respectful even though you’re upset or angry. I think it’s super important because for me, it makes squash and everything else more enjoyable. I stay less caught up in what’s going wrong and can focus on having fun with the game no matter the situation. You don’t feel nearly as bad about losing or playing poorly if you’re not complaining about everything.

Sarita Popat (GU15):
Good sportsmanship is the balance between personal competitiveness and ethics. To maintain good sportsmanship, a person has to exhibit polite behavior and respect towards opponents and referees, despite a win or a loss. In essence, it means to lose with grace and win with class. Good sportsmanship is important to me because no matter how good it feels to win, it feels better to play clean and fair. Without playing fair, a win doesn’t feel like a real win. I love to compete and give my 100% everytime I step on court, but I try just as hard to maintain a good attitude. Competitiveness and good sportsmanship aren’t mutually exclusive, so achieving one doesn’t mean sacrificing the other. That equal relationship is something I’m constantly striving for.

Isaac Mitchell (BU15):
When I think of good sportsmanship, I think of looking outside of what it takes to win and focusing on being a good opponent and an enjoyable person to play, referee and coach. Good sportsmanship is important to me because I want athletes to be viewed as positive role models and people you want to be around – in the court and outside the court.

Zaina Zaidi (GU13):
I define good sportsmanship as not just being a good person outside of the court but inside of the court as well. Being a good sport is, on the days you win you are humble and on the days you don’t, you are graceful. To me, good sportsmanship is being graceful, humble and it is about being a good person all the time. I am a Human being, an American, a Texan, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. But most importantly, I don’t consider myself a Squash player; I am a person who is very lucky to be able to play Squash. The girls I compete with are not only my opponents, rather my friends with whom I get to enjoy squash with. If all of the juniors are good sport, Squash will not be just a sport, it will be a really fun thing we get to do as junior squash players.

Aiden Shap (BU13):
Good sportsmanship is treating the opposing player, the referee, and spectators with respect and integrity, and being unselfish and honest. It’s important because it shows strong character. That you respect the sport and the rules of it. Someone who shows great sportsmanship is humble in his victories and has a proper perspective on his losses. The qualities of a good person, are the same ones that contribute to being a good sportsman. A win that does not come from playing fairly does not hold any satisfaction. And you should always be honest and treat your opponent the way you would want to be treated.

Minnie Kim (GU11):
Good sportsmanship is defined by how you act in and out of the squash court. You should always treat your opponent with respect, no matter what is happening and how you may feel inside. It is defined by how you act when you win, but more importantly when you lose. Good sportsmanship is important to me because I believe that every player works hard and should be rewarded with good conduct and respect. It is also important to me because it shows that it is not only about winning or losing, it is about the love of the game and trying your best.

Miles Goulding (BU11):
Good sportsmanship is to be nice, humble, and kind to your opponent. I hope to treat people the way I’d like to be treated. And I hope to be friends with the other players for a very long time.

Eva Finney (GU19 Honorable Mention):
I think that having good sportsmanship is to play hard while having fun and treating your opponent and the sport with respect. This is important to me because I always appreciate watching players and playing other people who have a good attitude, so I try to do the same. I am very happy to have won this award and look forward to playing more in the future!

Anika Goyal (GU15 Honorable Mention):
For me, sportsmanship comes down to one word- respect. Respect for your opponents, the game, the rules, the referees, parents, and tournament organizers. Good sportsmanship is important to me because without it the purpose of the game is lost and you can no longer enjoy the sport.

Helen Wood (GU13 Honorable Mention):
I would define good sportsmanship as not getting upset about big losses, and being gracious about the big wins. For me it’s not playing to win, its always playing to play. During a game some calls will be in my favor, some calls will not. But when it comes to it, it’s not about the wins and losses of the day, it’s about how fun it was! Even if it was a hard loss that makes me sad, I know that it means it was a great match, and I played hard. I want to thank the people that run the tournaments, which are so fun for us all. It seems like a hard job.

Alina Sitwat (GU11 Honorable Mention):
I would define good sportsmanship as being graceful whether you lose or win. Good sportsmanship is important to me because if no one had good sportsmanship, then everyone would be miserable when they lost and never stop boasting when they won. I have made many friends playing squash matches and in between games at the tournaments, especially during 3 quarter court. I have made many friends playing squash matches and in between games at the tournaments, especially during 3 quarter court.

Toby Goldston (BU19 Honorable Mention):

Good sportsmanship to me is winning with grace, and losing with the same attitude. Sportsmanship is important to me because of the toxic environment that bad sportsmanship creates, and playing squash is first and foremost about having fun on the court. Growing up playing squash at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn, I went past Paul Brown’s quote on a poster by the courts virtually every day. When you win say nothing, when you lose say less. That motto has inspired me as a junior, and I will carry it with me into my college squash career.

Caleb Boateng (BU17 Honorable Mention):
Good sportsmanship in any sports is playing the sport. At the end of the day, it’s not about what your opponent does, but it’s you against the ball. When your opponent hits a good shot, you should applaud. If you get a bad call, don’t rush to scream at the ref. Play the game and have fun or what’s the point in playing. Good sportsmanship is important to me because there were many instances when I first started playing squash when I would either be cocky if I was playing someone easy, or cry when I lost to someone good. Bryan Patterson and all of my coaches at CitySquash were the first to teach me to just play the game – meaning don’t worry about the calls or your opponent, just play the best you know how. Their multiple reminders about playing my game is why sportsmanship is important to me. Sportsmanship is also important to me because I know that others watch how everyone acts on court, and my behavior on court reflects not only myself but also my family and CitySquash. It’s important to keep your composure and set a good example for others, especially for younger players who might think it’s okay to treat your opponent without respect if they see older players doing it.

Milo Friedman (BU15 Honorable Mention):

Good sportsmanship, to me, is a code of conduct that should be practiced by any sports player, and more importantly, anyone and everyone. I define good sportsmanship to be controlled, disciplined, ethical, and positive behavior towards others. All players of any game should be fair, and again, and I think most importantly, positive. Sportsmanship is very important to me, but it should also be important to any other person. Sportsmanship is about being fair and supporting others. In squash, sportsmanship is about trusting the rules and referees even when you do not always agree with them. It is about playing your best and setting an example to others. All of this is important to me because I want to be the best person I can be, and squash is something that I believe teaches its players to reach their potential in every way.

Peter Pierce (BU11 Honorable Mention):

Good sportsmanship is just going out and trying your best every time and wherever you end up is great! It is important to him because it makes the sport fun and he likes all of the players he meets and all of the friendships he has made through his tournaments and practice. He loves squash and cannot wait to get back to it and hopes to be able to play in Silver Nationals.

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