Dear Carolina Squash Club –
Squash in the Carolinas is slowly gaining momentum with new clubs, new collegiate teams, and new talent. In a land where the vast majority of the population thinks of squash as a vegetable, there is building enthusiasm for the sport.
One shining example of a budding program is the Charlotte Squash Club in Charlotte, NC. The club was founded in 2015 by Rod and Connie Barnes. They formerly directed the Chevy Chase Athletic Club’s squash program in DC and helped coach Georgetown’s Squash team. The club offers a variety of year-round squash programs and recently held its first PSA tournament, The Charlotte Squash Open.
Coach Mir Zaman Gul, a former squash world games medalist, provides world class coaching. Participation at the club has grown and has now formed a solid base of squash players in Charlotte.
College teams are also being founded and building solid programs. Davidson College, a small liberal arts school just north of Charlotte, has recently started a team that has a promising future.
The newly formed Davidson Squash team was founded by senior Will Bolton. Bolton is a former captain of Groton School’s high-school team in Massachusetts. After raising over $9,000 in donations from various grants and individual donations, Bolton led his team to Nationals in their first year where they finished ranked 48th in the country. Davidson is not alone in its successful squash program – Duke, UNC, and Charleston all have strong programs.
These Carolina Squash teams are flourishing in the face of adversity. Courts are an issue for these teams but are beginning to be addressed – Davidson has only one converted racquetball court, while Duke recently renovated their two courts. Despite the distance between each other, schools throughout the Carolinas and Southeast come together frequently and compete.
The Charlotte Squash Club has been a fantastic resource for surrounding colleges and held its inaugural Collegiate Invitational tournament in February, bringing teams from throughout the region to compete. Davidson also hopes to travel to the Club and take clinics as a team. The Southeast just beginning to get its teeth into the sport, and will produce some teams and players to be reckoned with in the near future.
Matt Dwyer and Will Bolton