NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's squash team held its annual awards banquet last week to celebrate the conclusion of another season in national title contention. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 12-5 record and a No. 4 ranking nationally. At the banquet, seven players received five separate awards in recognition of their hard work and achievements. Junior Eric Caine (McLean, Va.) was also announced as 2013-2014 captain at the event.
Caine, who earned the Steve Gurney Award, given to the player who has achieved great personal growth in the course of the season, in 2012, was the recipient of another award this year. After compiling an 8-5 record mostly at the No. 7 position and inspiring his teammates with his intense will to win, Caine was awarded the John A. Blum '76 Trophy, given to the member of the Yale men's squash team who has shown the most significant improvement during the season. The Davenport College resident walked onto the team in his freshman year.
This year's Steve Gurney Award went to Caine's fellow junior Neil Martin. Martin, one of the Bulldogs' most consistent winners, went 9-2 at No. 4. Last season, he achieved a 13-3 record playing mostly at Nos. 5 and 6.
Yale's John F. Skillman '67 Award, granted to the team member who, in the opinion of the coach, captain and manager, by sportsmanship and determination, has done with most for Yale Squash during the year, honored three seniors. Kenneth Chan, captain Hywel Robinson, and Richard Dodd, who anchored the team all season with solid play at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, shared the award. The trio has held the team's top three spots since their junior season. Chan and Robinson also received first team All-Ivy League honors this season.
The Skillman Associates Award recognized sophomore Chris Bradshaw as the team member whose ability and personal achievement is of greatest value to the Yale Men's Squash team. Bradshaw walked onto the team at the beginning of the season and made multiple appearances in the lineup at No. 9. He earned his first collegiate win in Yale's 9-0 victory over Brown on Feb. 6.
The team's final award, the Harold K. Wilkens, Sr. Award, is presented to the member of the Yale Men's and Women's Squash Team whose character, discipline and dedication best exemplify perseverance in the pursuit of excellence and the tradition of goodwill as an ambassador for squash. Senior Sam Haig was this year's recipient. Haig, who led Brunswick Academy's squash team to second-place at nationals in 2009, has made appearances for the Bulldogs at Nos. 7, 8 and 9 during his four years on the team.
All four of Yale's seniors made key contributions to the team's success and received awards for their efforts this year. Fellow award-winners Bradshaw, Caine and Martin, as well as the rest of the team, will look to continue in their tradition of excellence next season.
Report by Joe Giammittorio '15, Yale Sports Publicity