Leaving for a trip on a school day is always exciting: no classes, no homework, and spending time talking and playing video games together is a strong reason so many Middle School children love taking trips. This past weekend, some Calvert Middle Schoolers left on a great field trip all the way up to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut for the U.S. Middle School Squash Championships. However, the Middle School students had to leave on a train at 5:30 AM! It was tough for them to get up so early and get on that train, but a lot of fun things happened along the way.
Those twelve Calvert squash players would probably tell you that the Yale campus is one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States, if not the world. The architecture is stunning and while running between the hotel and the courts, the students saw some amazing buildings. The matches were held in the Payne-Whitney gym which is the largest gym in the world. The structure towers over you when you walk up to the huge wooden doors.
After the train ride and taxi to the hotel the students hit the ground running. The boys played their first match at 4:00 PM and the girls at 7:00 PM. One win and one loss. Then it was time for dinner, a snack, downtime, and bed. So went the next two days. Wake-up, eat, squash courts, squash matches, eat, squash courts, eat, hang out, then bed again. Along the way there were Yale book store buying sprees, a lot of Nutella, and an impromptu visit to an Apple store.
Through the weekend there were wonderfully played matches, some tears, and some gut-check comebacks. The girls’ team of Reese W., Grace C., Clara D., Piper B., Natalie L., and Lilly B. finished second in their division, earned some hardware, improved their individual games, and grew as a team. The boys’ team headed by Cyrus B., Patrick R., Parker D., Bennett E., Mason S., and James C. were resilient, bouncing back from an early loss, to playing beautifully in the finals of the consolation round. More important than anything else was that each Calvert team had the parents and coaches of the opposition in awe. They played with heart and with courtesy toward opponents, displaying unmatched sportsmanship.
Another plus to the trip was having some Calvert alums visit the courts as well. Isabelle Webster '13 and Liam Geenen '14 stopped by, as well as Allison Rice '14 who went on that same squash trip to Yale when she was an Eighth Grade player. Now she attends the school! One has to wonder if that Eighth Grade Squash trip to Yale is what inspired her.