BRONXVILLE, N.Y. Squash is now a varsity sport for the high school students in Bronxville , as the board of education upgraded its status this week.
Earlier this year, the sport finished its third year as a pilot program at the school with 35 middle school and high school athletes competing. Adding to its success, the middle school players won the Fairwest League Championship this past season.
Athletic director Karen Peterson was content that the high school squash athletes will now receive a letter at the end of next school year's season. Peterson said that her student athletes love to play, and that it will be nice to do so with a higher status.
While squash is not recognized at the state level, the high school students will change from playing three days a week to playing five days a week. As they perfect their strikes, they will compete against other schools in the tri-state area with similar programs, like Rye.
Peterson said that it is nice for the students to have the chance to play squash as the sport is typically costly, needing a club membership. The students play at Sarah Lawrence College and Westchester Squash in Mamaroneck, and anticipate adding Pyramid Squash in Tuckahoe as a third facility for their upcoming season.
"[I am happy] to make the sport accessible to a good number of kids who wouldn't be able to participate [without] the program," said Peterson.
A review of the three-year pilot program found that most of the squash athletes are not only new to the sport, but also do not play on another after-school team. Peterson said that she anticipates more girls joining the team, as 28 of the 35 club members were boys this past season.
Peterson also noted that the community support has been great. Parent volunteers served as coordinators for the club during the Fairwest League Championship, which "helped significantly in terms of organization and the success of the program."
The Bronxville Schools will hold tryouts for the 2012-2013 squash team in October, with the season beginning in November.
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