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Nationally Known: Westminster Squash

George M, Staff Writer

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This fall many seventh and eighth graders tried out for both the developmental and varsity squash teams. Westminster has a renowned squash program that has won many national titles in both the girls and boys divisions.

“Squash began at Westminster with the renovation of Turner Gym. During the renovation they put in four squash courts,” said middle school Latin teacher and squash coach Cynthia Swanson. 

The previous headmaster, Bill Clarkson, was a squash fan and was one of the main reasons it was introduced to the school. It first originated as a club team and grew in popularity over time.

Squash is a sport where two players are hitting a small squishy ball against a wall in between two lines. Squash is played with smaller rackets that are similar to a tennis racket, but with a different shape.

The players try to hit the ball where their opponent cannot hit it back, ending the point. The point starts with a serve and ends when the ball bounces twice in a row.

Middle schoolers are allowed to tryout for the varsity team, but it is very hard to make the squad because of the high level of play in the upper school. That is why, for middle schoolers there is a developmental team.

“It is difficult to compete among high schoolers because they are bigger taller, and they hit the ball faster,” said eighth grade boy Wilson I.

Due to the skill of the older players, students try their best to prepare and sharpen their skills during the offseason.

“I went and practiced once a week after school. Also, I went on runs and did push-ups,” said John F., an eighth grade boy on the developmental team.

On the first day of tryouts, it was not just all squash; players were tested on conditioning. John said that they did sprints during tryouts to test speed and endurance.

There squash courts are located in Gladney gym, and there are four different courts with bleachers in between them.

“During practice we start with a warm up that gets our heart rate going, and then usually do drills or play practice matches,” said Ms. Swanson.

Westminster has trained very hard and is prepared for the 2018-19 season. The teams began with a tournament in Philadelphia and the season concludes with High School team Nationals on February 2.

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The news site of The Westminster Schools
Nationally Known: Westminster Squash