After concluding the regular season undefeated in the Independent School League, cruising to the ISL title, and compiling an 11-1 overall record, the boys squash team took on the post-season this weekend at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT.
As a team, the Big Red edged second-place Brunswick by a point - 104 to 103 - to with the Class A New England Championship. Individually, St. Paul's completed the day with two New England individual champions, including Jamie Wilson '08, who clinched the NE title with a clutch performance in the fourth flight.
Trailing by two games in the final round of the fourth division, Wilson made a furious and thrilling comeback to beat Brunswick's Jamie Davies in five games (7-9;7-9;9-1;9-4;9-0). In the fifth flight, top-seeded Nick Kourides '09 also defeated a Brunswick player - Spencer Hurst - to earn another 18 crucial points for St. Paul's Kourides won his match in three games (2-9;9-4;9-7;9-6).
"In the end it was a storybook finish and the boys won as a team, displaying great squash and even better sportsmanship," said SPS coach Roly Morris.
In the first flight, Will Morris '08 won the consolation for fifth place and 12 points, the best possible outcome for the only un-seeded SPS player in the tournament. Morris won all three consolation matches in the top division, including the final over Belmont Hill's Julian Kirby (9-7;9-1;8-10;9-7).
In the second flight, fourth-seeded Will Ahmed '08 suffered through painful leg cramps to finish fourth with 13 points. Second-seeded Justin Ang '08 fought hard through a pair of five-game matches to finish in fourth place in the third flight. Ang's performance added 13 points to the SPS team score.
Tod Holberton '10 defeated Hotchkiss player Will Benedict in the semifinal of the sixth flight and ultimately finished second to earn 15 points for St. Paul's. The scores from that five-game thriller were: 7-9;9-4;6-9;10-8;9-0
Playing in the seventh flight, Alex Wood '08 marched through the main draw as the second seed before losing a well-played final match to Brunswick's Matt Mackin (8-10;9-2;10-8;10-8).
"At the beginning of the season, the boys knew they had a balanced team and if they worked hard and supported each other, winning the ISL and the New England Championship were a possibility," said Morris. "That dream came true and they learned a lot about teamwork and sportsmanship along the way."
Article and photos form the St. Paul's School website.