Graduating junior squash players Katherine Sapinski and Merritt Wurts were presented with the 2021 DeRoy Sportsmanship Awards during the 2021 Junior Awards Night Wednesday, May 12.
Since 1998, the DeRoy Sportsmanship Award has honored one female and male graduating high school senior who displayed exemplary behavior on and off the court, while competing at a high level of junior squash.
Sapinski and Wurts were presented with the awards by their respective high school squash coaches during the Junior Awards Night. Watch a replay of the presentations on the US Squash Youtube Channel.
Sapinski, a San Francisco native, will attend Princeton University in the fall after graduating from the Groton School.
“I am honored and humbled to be receiving this year’s DeRoy Sportsmanship Award, what an awesome way to end my junior squash career,” Sapinski said. “I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by a strong community of squash players, coaches and family who model what being a good sport looks like. My first coach and role model, John Lau, introduced me to what sportsmanship means in squash through his on court demeanor and actions. One of his favorite things to tell me during practice was that squash was a gentleman’s and gentlewoman’s sport. I’ve really taken this message to heart over the years because it emphasized to me just how central sportsmanship is in squash. As my grandfather always tells me, ‘go out there and give 110% effort, you can always rest when you get home.’ And sp I pass along John Lau and my grandfather’s messages of sportsmanship and competitive drive. In squash especially, you cannot have one without the other.”
Wurts, a Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania native, will attend Yale University this fall after graduating from Deerfield Academy.
“Thank you for honoring me with the DeRoy Sportsmanship Award, I have always viewed it as the highest compliment in junior squash,” Wurts said. “Thinking back on it, every player who has previously received the DeRoy has shaped me as a person and a player. I view sportsmanship as a form of respect for the sport we play. I try to empathize with each player and act in the behavior that I would want them to show me on and of court. I hope to continue to inspire players to prioritize sportsmanship in squash and to take it wherever they go.”