by Tom Utescher
In what was the de facto Friends Schools League championship in boys squash, host Germantown Friends controlled the top and middle sections of the team ladder and turned away the Shipley School Gators by a score of 7-2 last Thursday afternoon.
Only one other FSL member, Friends Central, plays the sport at all, and the Phoenix have not yet developed to the point where they’re competing against regular varsity squads from other schools.
The Tigers won each of the number one through seven matches in three straight games last week, despite playing without their regular number one, Calvin McCafferty. The junior was taking some time off due to a minor injury, aiming to be ready to perform in the Mid-Atlantic tournament this week. Last Thursday’s victory lifted GFS to a 4-3 record overall, while Shipley left 6-4.
The only individual match that looked like it might go to four games came in the number three spot. Tigers senior Anand Butler, who will attend Williams College next year, secured an easy 11-2 win in his opening game against Shipley number three Will Field. However, the Gators junior proved much more determined in the second round. He went up 6-4, then Butler captured the next five points to move ahead, 9-6.
Field rallied to draw even at 9-9, and from there the two players rode a scoring seesaw until Butler finally prevailed, 14-12. The third game wasn’t nearly as dramatic, as the GFS player took care of business, 11-6.
One rung down the ladder, the match between Butler’s twin brother Satya and fellow senior Ethan Bradlow proved a model of consistency. Germantown’s number four won all three games by a score of 11-7.
Shipley picked up its wins from a pair of ninth-graders at the tail end of the line-up. Number eight Leighton Ball beat fellow freshman Eli Eisenstein, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8, and in the ninth spot Will Bullitt of the Gators won 11-5, 11-8, 11-4 over a sophomore from the host school, Jake Schwartz.
Farther up in the order, GFS breezed. At number five, junior Felipe Sanz went by visiting sophomore Clayton Smith, 11-2, 11-3, 11-2, and his classmate Silas Shah took the number six match, 11-4, 11-5, 11-3, over Shipley freshman Dillon Howard. Sophomore number seven Garrett Melby won for the Tigers over Gators freshman Will Drake, 11-5, 11-5, 11-3.
Up at number two a Germantown senior, Brown-bound Ben Caraballo, found few problems facing sophomore Fitz Dougherty, playing some long points, but winning most of them to prevail, 11-4, 11-2, 11-4.
One of Shipley’s five freshmen, Zach Bradlow, was playing at number one. Another young player, Tigers sophomore Jack Lentz, had bumped up a spot due to McCafferty’s absence, but he held down the top spot well as he topped the Gators ninth-grader, 11-5, 11-2, 11-6.