The Gow School 8 vs. Ridley College 12
Wow! What an incredible afternoon of squash. Ridley College hosted Gow for the team’s final exhibition match prior to the High School Nationals at Yale University on Friday.
It was great to see Mrs. Ty-Holland at the courts. Thank you so much. It was also wonderful to meet John Edwards’ sister, Hailey (Ridley ’12), and John’s father’s football picture on the wall of the athletic complex.
It amazes me each time I witness pure athletic competition that has respect and sportsmanship intertwined effortlessly throughout. The athletic building buzzed with energy and anticipation. Ridley College parents and Grandparents arrived in support of their team.
Well, where do I start?
The birthday boy put on quite the performance in his second match of the day. After battling one of Ridley’s top players, Unver S-K., Walker took on Sung H an hour or so after his first match. He trailed Sung 10-1 in the 2nd game of the match and battled back to tie the game at 10. Sung won 12-10. But, Walker pushed aside that disappointment to win the 4th and 5th games in vintage style. The fourth game ended 16-14 after many incredible multi-shot rallies and amazing winning drops and drives. The 5th game was a game that those in attendance will remember for a while. Two exhausted players traded point for point, usually in dramatic fashion. At one point Walker asked for the score, the marker said, “5 serving 6”, Walker replied while exhaling exhaustingly, “Is that all!” Both players battled for every scrappy ball until the bitter end. An amazing drop shot rally decided the point that gave Walker a 10-9 lead. The final crazy multi shot rally ended when a stroke was awarded to Walker. It was the correct call and put the most amazing twist to a fantastic display of squash and sportsmanship. The players not only shook hands, they quickly embraced each other in the ultimate show of respect and sportsmanship. Unbelievable! Happy 18th Birthday Walker, thanks for the gift.
Robert T-H once again played his intimidatingly intelligent brand of squash. He can dig any shot up off the floor. Magically at times! He played Ridley’s top two players and was very impressive in the losses. Every game lost was by the narrowest of margins. The games he won he battled for every point. He is a force on the court.
John Edwards’ performances were equally as amazing. His second match of the day went to a fifth game. Three of his games had already gone to extra points and he was locked into another battle with Ayoub S. The crowd noise made hearing the score between points difficult to hear. It was entertainment at its best. John pulled the game off and won the marathon match 3-2. Congratulations! That was awesome!
Kithsen W. shrugged off his minor shoulder injury and played beautifully. He split his two matches on the day. He won the first match very impressively 3-1. Kithsen used powerful drives and subtle drop shots harmoniously. It was an orchestrated win. Great job!
Toma B. did his best but fell short in the win column. It wasn’t due to his lack of effort or array of incredible shots. It was due to the strength of his opposition. Toma played solidly in both of his matches and would have won both matches on any other day.
George L., Oudou K., and John Eb., struggled on the afternoon. They all fought valiantly but unfortunately couldn’t pick up a match win on the afternoon. Sam T. won his second match of the afternoon. He came up just short in his first match but rebounded by winning his second match convincingly in three straight games.
Youngster Jonathan W. played two great matches. These were the first games Jonathan played away from the Gow School courts. He did a great job in both his matches. Even though he didn’t win he learned more about the game and gained valuable match play experience.
Coach Forgeron is at the Gow School courts Sunday to conduct a clinic from 9:30am - 1:30pm. This is a final tune-up before heading out east. Gow plays host to Nichols on Tuesday in a battle for first place in the Buffalo High School league. The team then leaves Thursday afternoon for New Haven, CT. to compete in the US Squash High School National D-5 Championships. The team plays at Yale University Friday at 2:00pm.