Image contributed by the boys’ squash team
The Staples boys’ squash team won the Division VIII HEAD US High School Squash Championship (Division VIII), becoming national champions. The Wreckers beat the Loyola, Maryland team 4-3 in their championship game on Feb. 2 at Trinity College in Hartford.
The tournament drew 207 players from across the country, primarily from the Northeast. Captain Tyler Edwards ’20 credits the team’s success to the competition among teammates.
“The ladder was very volatile and competitive this year so players were working hard to maintain or improve their positions,” Edwards said. “We were also much closer as a team this year, so there was a lot more team spirit.”
The Wreckers were seeded No. 2 throughout the season with a record of 6-4. The team played in the Fairwest Boys league, but, as a result of their success, will be moving to the first division for next year’s season. This year’s championship marked a vast improvement from last year, when the team was ranked in the middle of the bracket and did not go to nationals.
Eddie O’Rourke, head coach of the team, was not surprised by the victory.
“The boys put a lot of effort into the season, and it paid off,” O’Rourke said. “I was especially thrilled for the team. It was a brilliant win for Staples.”
Betti Kobak ’22, who began playing squash this year, was amazed by the boys’ performance.
“The team was really great to observe,” Kobak said. “It’s no surprise that they won, and, being new to the sport, they all taught me a lot both in terms of sportsmanship and in technique.”
Edwards agrees with Koback in that a close team is important, despite the fact that each match is played individually.
“Knowing your teammates have your back is huge in a tough match,” Edwards said. “In between games, your teammates have an opportunity to meet with you, so having them there to cheer you on or give you advice is super important.”