by Tom Utescher

As the only Northwest Philly team entered in the top division of the 2012 U.S. Squash High School Team Championships, it was up to Springside Chestnut Hill Academy to be the standard bearer for this section of the city two weekends ago in Connecticut.

The Blue Devils finished fourth in Division I at the scholastic racquetfest, which was held on the courts of Yale University and a few neighboring institutions near New Haven. In Division II, Germantown Friends School placed 11th and Penn Charter was 14th.

SCH started out by overwhelming the Brunswick Academy “B” team, 6-1, receiving victories from seniors Augie Frank (#2) and Alex Ambrosini (#7), juniors Alex McCall (#1) and Peter Ferraro (#6) and sophomores Philip Kelly (#3) and Mason Blake (#5).

Next, the Greenwich High School “A” team captured the top two matches against SCH, but the Devils took five wins down the ladder, including sophomore Brian Giegerich’s victory at number four. Inter-Ac League rival Episcopal Academy, which would retain the national championship, was too much for the Devils in their third bout. For the third time this season, Kelly downed his EA opponent, but his team succumbed, 1-6.

That put the local racquetmen into a third-place playoff with Belmont Hill, and the Massachusetts school prevailed 5-2. Here, the individual victors for SCH were Ferraro and junior classmate Christian Dorff, who moved into the seventh spot for the Devils’ final encounter. In losing three 11-6 games in the top spot, SCH’s McCall scored more points than many opponents of Belmont Hill junior Edward Columbia, who is currently number two in the country in the Under-19’s.

In Division II, eighth-grader Calvin McCafferty performed impressively for Germantown Friends, winning all four of his bouts in the number four slot. His older brother Max, a junior, had a tougher go at number one, winding up 2-2 for the weekend. Two Tigers turned in 3-1 records at the event, senior number three Diego Sanz, and junior number five Drew Wallace.

GFS began with a 2-5 setback against Deerfield Academy, but then avenged a regular-season loss by beating Penn Charter, 5-2, in the Division II consolation draw. Sanz, Wallace, the McCafferty brothers, and junior number two David Sneed all came through for the Tigers in this one.

Germantown was edged out, 3-4, by Choate Rosemary Hall in the consolation semifinals, but the Tigers finished with a win, rolling past fellow Friends Schools League member Shipley, 6-1.

For Penn Charter, the defeat by GFS in the consolation bracket had followed a 2-5 setback in the main-draw opener against New Hampshire’s St. Paul’s School. PC reversed that score to win its third match of the weekend, knocking off St. Andrew’s, from Delaware. The Quakers acquired their wins from senior Luke Schweitzer (#5), juniors Randy Beck (#1), Luke Angelakis (#3), Max Reiff (#4), and Augie Crofton (#7).

Reiff and Schweitzer won for PC in its tournament swansong, a 2-5 loss to Phillips Exeter.

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