Louise Conaty ’17
For the first time in school history, Tower Hill offers squash as a winter sport. After years of interest and location searching, squash has finally made it. With eleven middle schoolers and seven upper schoolers, the team has a promising future and supports the growing popularity of squash in Delaware. For many Tower Hill participants the sport has been a huge part of their life growing up while other members of the team are completely new to the sport. One of the three coaches, Ed Chilton, explained that “when you first start out it can be somewhat easy, but obviously as you get up on ability level it can become a little more difficult.” Squash is a game of angles and requires competitors to maintain a lot of focus while demonstrating athleticism. The Tower Hill team ranges from players who are ranked among the top fifty in the nation in their age group to those who are just beginners. However, one thing is for sure: everyone is improving their skills and becoming true competitors.
Julia Ward, captain, is extremely excited to have a squash team at Tower Hill. She has been playing since lower school, and this is the first time she has been able to play on a team. Even though squash is an individual sport, Julia says that “it’s really fun warming up together and cheering for teammates during matches.” She also loves to coach members of the team and help them improve their skills. Julia “can’t wait for the Tower Hill squash program to keep growing.” Julia says “I hope to come back in 15 or 20 years and see a full middle school team, JV and Varsity high school teams, and maybe even a few squash state championships.”
Ben Schiltz, Tower Hill Squash’s middle school co-captain, has been playing the sport since he was seven, and he “likes the competitive aspect along with the tactical shot making that goes into squash.” Ben loves the new THS squash team because “it is fun to play every day and see both [him]self and [his] peers improve.” When asked what advice he has for any students who are thinking about trying out for squash, Ben replied, “Anyone can try it. Squash is an amazing sport that almost anyone can pick up. If you enjoy being competitive while also having fun with your friends then the THS squash team is the place for you.”
Jennifer Cleary, the other Tower Hill Squash’s middle school co-captain, has played the sport for about four years and loves the new Tower Hill squash team because she “get[s] to see [her] classmates improve dramatically.” When asked what it was like to play an upper school sport, she replied “playing on the squash team as an eighth grader is awesome because we get to play and interact with older kids, and since this is the first year of the squash team, by the time our class are seniors we will be really good.” Her advice for students thinking about joining the team is to “definitely do it because you don’t have to worry about how much experience you have because the team ranges in all different skill levels, and by playing everyday you will for sure have a huge learning curve and be really good by the end.”
Out of the ninety schools in Delaware, only two have squash teams: Tower Hill and St. Andrews. So that means Tower Hill has one of the top squash teams in the state! But hopefully with the growing popularity of squash in Delaware, more schools will follow Tower Hill’s example and introduce squash teams to their winter seasons. The squash team has an important match on Tuesday January 26th against St. Andrews at Reflex Squash Center, so anyone interested in learning more about the sport and cheering on Tower Hill is welcome to attend!