Today we took 41 competing StreetSquashers, 2 alternates, 4 alums, and 9 family members (1 more met us there) to Yale University to compete against SquashBusters in the 16th Annual meeting of the teams from Harlem and Boston.
With almost everyone arriving early (!) we were able to make the 9:12 train out of 125th. We arrived in New Haven just after 11am, and made our way to Payne Whitney gym ahead of our 12pm start time. Running intros on two courts (divided between boys and girls), we were underway by 12:30, with everyone feeling pretty well-organized.
Four matches were played on each court, with students supporting one another, reffing, marking, eating lunch, and cheering during the downtime. SquashBusters pulled out to an early lead, and it was clear that the level of competition would be high.
As the afternoon wore on, a few more StreetSquash names were circled to mark their wins, but despite fighting hard on court, we were unable to recoup the victories necessary to bring home the trophy again. The big W for the day went to SquashBusters, with the Boston players proudly hoisting the trophy overhead after the awards ceremony in deserving success.
After cleaning up, StreetSquash gathered together a final time on one of the glass courts while Edgardo gave a moving speech about holding one another to a high standard. Pointing out that 17 of the program’s top 40 players were not in attendance due to poor attendance, behavior issues, unreturned permission slips, and one over-sleeper, the trophy could have easily returned to Harlem. Edgardo urged the players to push themselves and their teammates for the short term goal of improving by Individuals in June, and in the longer term, for next year’s SquashBusters showdown.
Celebrating good sportsmanship and high effort levels, we hit the road to return to the train station and to head back to New York.
Thanks to all attending staff: Edgardo, Will, Gabby, Clare, Tai, and Sareen;
Supportive alums: Jordano, Lamont, Nasean, and Mawa;
And family members: Naheem’s mom (+4), Leslie R’s +4, and Ajayla’s dad.
-Katie, Senior Squash Director
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