Thousands of junior squash players of all levels across the country compete and enjoy squash as a regular part of their lives. Each year, hundreds graduate from junior squash while retaining the values practiced in the sport, the close and enduring friendships they have formed, and with an enduring love for squash as a lifelong sport.
Over the coming weeks, US Squash will be celebrating the members of the high school Class of 2020 in an ongoing series where each student athlete reflects upon their experiences in junior squash. If you are a high school senior and have not already submitted your own picture and reflection, please follow these instructions to do so.
US Squash Senior Class of 2020 Gift Initiative
In honor of the culmination of the entire class’s junior squash journey.
In support of US Squash junior development programs.
The Senior Class of 2020 has come together with a Class Gift initiative seeking to establish the precedent for graduating classes to come together in celebration of the entire class’s achievements, on and off the court, and in support of US Squash’s junior development programs. It will be the first senior class gift and will cement the Class of 2020’s legacy, which is only appropriate in these extraordinary times. Recognition of this leadership initiative will endure with a plaque at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center.
For more information visit the Class of 2020 Gift page.
[jbutton color=”red” size=”large” link=”https://api.ussquash.com/donate/#fund=junior_class” icon=”yes”]Make a Gift[/jbutton]
Neil Bam | BOWDOIN COLLEGE
Squash has played an essential role in shaping me into who I am today. It was a great way for me to make new friends and have fun in middle school, and after becoming my main sport it became my focus throughout high school. Training with my friends made the experience even more enjoyable. I cherished the Nationals weekends each year when the team bonded and had a great time. Finishing second in the country at the last High School Nationals as a senior will be an experience I will remember forever. Squash has been an incredible experience for me filled with unforgettable memories with hard fought wins and heartbreaking losses and I am really happy that I will be able to continue making new memories in college!
Ellie Burke | DARTMOUTH COLLEGE
Throughout Junior Squash, I have learned the valuable lessons of hard work, sportsmanship, and camaraderie. One of the highlights of my Junior Squash experience was competing as a member of Team USA at the British Junior Open in 2019. Most importantly, I have met lifelong friends that I look forward to competing against in college squash.
Harry Charlton | TUFTS UNIVERSITY
Looking back on my squash experience, my favorite parts have been being able to travel in the U.S. and to other countries and meet players and coaches from all over the world. Having played squash since I was nine years old, it’s amazing how many incredible players and coaches (who were great players in their day) that I have had a chance to meet and how each one has taught me something new that has helped me to get better. My favorite tournament memories are from team nationals and the U.S. Opens because it’s nice to play new and different players.
Samuel Charlton | TUFTS UNIVERSITY
When I look back on my favorite squash memories, the first things that come to mind are Middle School Nationals and the time I spent playing with my Hotchkiss team. I really enjoy how playing team squash allowed me to work on improving my own game but also involves playing for something bigger than myself which I think makes the game much more fun.
Serena Daniel | HARVARD UNIVERSITY
I first picked up a squash racket at the age of nine with no idea what I was getting myself into. Little did I know that it would end up being the best decision I could have made. In the eight years since then, I would like to think that I have matured immensely, specifically because of lessons I have learned on the court. This sport is brutal, but every setback and every obstacle has taught me how to be resilient and confident in my own abilities. Further, I found a group of people who shared the same commitment to hard work and discipline that I valued so dearly. The people I have met, the places I have been and the experiences I have enjoyed because of junior squash are irreplaceable and I will forever be grateful for this sport and the community it has given me.
Callie Delalio | AMHERST COLLEGE
I am extremely grateful to US Squash for four years of great tournaments and competition. I’ve enjoyed every minute on court and I am very excited to play at the collegiate level. Through squash, I’ve learned to focus on continuous personal improvement and the importance of hard work.
Sehar Dey-Kohli | VASSAR COLLEGE
Playing competitive squash nationally has been an integral part of my life ever since I can remember – daily after school drills, matches, a nutrition and fitness regimen, watching videos, and tournaments have taught me resilience, work ethic, and grace in victory and defeat. Squash is now core to my DNA and in my every fiber. It is my companion, guardian, teacher, and tormentor. Squash has taught me to be a leader and mentor – from petitioning our athletics department to start our school squash team, helping ‘recruit’ our first set of players, holding extra drills sessions, creating a chat group for us to bond, to co-captaining a team that has now participated in two High School Nationals tournaments. I have also learned mentorship by volunteering at Metrosquash, a squash and academic program for inner-city kids.
Julia Fink | COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Junior squash has been a central part of my life throughout middle and high school. From tournaments to everyday practices, the sport has given me a community full of wonderful friends and opportunities. My participation in squash has allowed me to become involved in organizations such as StreetSquash where I was able to work with mentors and meet peers who I would have never met otherwise. One highlight of my junior squash experience was playing the Maccabi games with the gold-medal winning US team. I am grateful for my time in junior squash and cannot wait to continue playing in college.
Margaret Fleischner | ST. LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY
I’ve had a lot of fun playing throughout high school and I’ve made so many great friends, both on and off the court, through squash.
Tom Hogan | BROWN UNIVERSITY
Squash has played a very important role in my life athletically, socially, and academically. Firstly, squash has increased my fitness and athletic discipline exponentially, making me stronger physically and mentally. In addition, I have made many friends in the squash community from all over the country that I never would have known if not for my participation in US Squash events. Lastly, squash has had a great impact on me academically; I will be continuing to play squash in college and further my studies at Brown University.
Nolan Gelinas | DUKE UNIVERSITY
I will be attending Duke University in the fall and I’m excited to play on their club squash team. During the past 7 years of playing US Squash, I have learned perseverance, determination, and leadership. Most importantly, I have made lifelong friends.
Clara Lehv | COLBY COLLEGE
I have learned many things from playing squash competitively for the last ten years, such as how to work hard to reach my goals, never giving up, and how to be resilient. I try to learn from every disappointment, setback and achievement. My time as a junior squash player has been the greatest part of my life. From playing on my High School team at Spence to spending 10th grade at Wycliffe College in the UK and competing all over England and Europe, squash has been a huge part of my life. I have made so many great friends over the years including my teammates at Spence and Wycliffe. My greatest memory is perhaps this past year when Spence won the league Championship as well as the state championship and finished tenth in Division I at nationals . I am proud of my team and can’t wait to play for Colby.
Peter Lehv | HAVERFORD
Squash has meant a lot to me throughout my life. Playing on the Horace Mann varsity squash team for all four years of high school has been one of the greatest experiences of my high school years. I made so many great friends over four years and was lucky to work with Coach Beller, a great coach. I’ll always remember our trips to HS Nationals. This past year at Nationals I won a close five gamer and helped our team win 4-3. All my teammates were watching and it was great way to close out my high school career. I’m grateful we were able to finish the whole season in light of school now being closed. I can’t wait to play for Haverford College next Fall
Brian Leonard | YALE UNIVERSITY
Since I could remember, squash has always played a significant role in my life. The sport has allowed me to meet new people, travel across the world, and interact with different cultures. I am going to miss traveling and seeing all of my friends on the junior circuit, but I am looking forward to the next chapter.
Erin O'Connor | UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Squash has allowed me to meet new people and make friends who I know will be friends for life. I have learned life skills both on and off court that I will carry with me to college and beyond. I am excited to continue competing in college and I will always remember the lessons I have learned through junior squash.
Maxwell Orr | YALE UNIVERSITY
I have made some of my closest friends through the squash community. Squash has been a huge part of my identity and taught me important life lessons both on and off court. It will be strange not having my weekends taken up by tournaments, and I will miss junior squash.
Yeshwin Sankuratri | AMHERST COLLEGE
Through my junior squash journey, I have been faced with competition that always kept me on my toes and challenges that revealed more about myself. USSquash allowed me to enjoy the rigors of sport and gave me a platform to turn adversity into opportunity. A particularly strong memory in my path was the first time I upset the seedings to achieve 2nd place at the Berwyn Gold in 2016. In so many indescribable ways playing squash has had a positive effect on my life and I am thankful for the endless support of my parents and coaches. I look forward to competing for Amherst College next year.
Nicholas Spizzirri | UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
The past 10 years of traveling and playing in all the US tournaments have helped guide and shape me into the person I am today. Without the squash community I don’t think I would have the character of being open to meeting new people and trying new things. Through squash I have overcome many obstacles, such as slumps, the mentality I need to have for sports, and how to best handle winning and losing. I have had the opportunity to meet people all around the world through squash, and I can’t thank the sport and you guys at US squash enough for the gifts and help you guys and squash has given me. I am very proud of what I have been able to do with US squash and am sad to see my years in the Juniors go. Thanks so much again for all you guys have done for me and the other graduating seniors.
Priya Verma | DARTMOUTH COLLEGE
I have been playing junior squash for about 10 years now, and remain very grateful for the opportunities, friendships, and mentors that have come along with participating in the many events that US Squash had to offer. Experiences like the battle of the border and the British Junior Open were among some of my favorites, and I always left with great memories.
Ellyn Xu | TUFTS UNIVERSIY
I originally started squash three years ago just to try out something new, and to be honest I didn’t expect much. It took only a year for squash to become a major part of my life and this sport taught me what real hard work looks like. Playing squash also changed my life by introducing me to my best friends, who constantly pushed me to be my best.
If you are a high school senior and have not already submitted your own picture and reflection, please follow these instructions to do so.