Squash isn’t a big-crowd sport like football and basketball, so Rye High’s Squash players and coaches are always looking to spread word about and raise money for the program.
By Lauren Dempsey
Squash isn’t a big-crowd sport like football and basketball, so Rye High’s Squash players and coaches are always looking to spread word about and raise money for the program. As neither the high school nor the City has its own squash courts, the team must look elsewhere and players are asked to pay for the use of facilities around Westchester. They offset some of the expense through fundraising, and this year they came up with a novel idea: hold an old-fashioned wiffle ball tournament on the football field.
The instigators were rising seniors and squash players Chris Julian and Campbell Schulz, both of whom participated in the Greenwich Wiffle Ball Tournament last summer. After an entrance fee, high and middle school students, along with teachers, were given the opportunity to form teams of four to five. Players arrived at Nugent Stadium early the morning of June 27, a tough call for high school kids the first Saturday after the end of school. After Julian and Schulz went over the rules, the games began.
In the round-robin tournament, each of the ten teams played a minimum of three games. By day’s end, some 20 games were played.
After winning four games, the Chicken Cutlets beat the Supa Hot Fire Squad for the crown, avenging their loss to them in the preliminary round. The winning team, a combination of hockey players and wrestlers, included rising seniors Rocco Macri, Theo Burner, Will Bennett, Nick Berger, Franklin Goldzer, and Tommy O’Brien. With the victory, the Chicken Cutlets took home the inaugural trophy and bragging rights for the rest of the summer.
“We got off to a slow start in our first game,” said Goldzer, “but we kept getting better each game, and by the time we got to the finals, we were on fire.” He added, “Great pitching is really important, because it’s hard to throw strikes and home runs are common. Tommy pitched well the whole day and then Theo came in to close out the semis and was lights out in the finals.”
Rising juniors Myles Burbank, Spencer Hunt, TJ Lavelle, and Brett Egan made up the fine Supa Hot Fire Squad.
The Inaugural Wiffle Ball Tournament was such a success that plans for next year are already in the offing.
The high schoolers may be facing some really stiff competition; a number of parents sitting in the stands were reminiscing about their days playing Wiffle Ball at Midland School or Rye Rec and bragging how they could throw a pitch that moved so much, no one could hit it. Don’t be surprised if a number of them decide to dust off the old arms and challenge the kids next summer.
Thanks to all those who participated, all those who bought T-shirts and baked goods, and to the generous sponsorship of All Paws, Jerry’s Post Road Market, Longford’s, Molly’s Midland Market, Ridge Squire Tuxedos, Smoothie King, Sportech, and Sunrise Pizza.
— Photos by Lauren Dempsey and Mary Julian