The Philadelphia Public League marked the end of its second squash season with its culminating individual and team championships, February 20-21, at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center.

Last year, US Squash, SquashSmarts and the Philadelphia School District partnered to introduce squash into the Philadelphia Public League’s roster of sports with the Specter Center and SquashSmarts Lenfest Center serving as the homes for practice and match play over the last two years.

Continuing the momentum from the inaugural season, the PPL squash league featured squash teams from seven schools, including the Masterman School, Philadelphia High School for Girls, Esperanza Academy, Science and Leadership Academy Center City and Beeber, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science and Parkway West High School.

Esperanza Academy

The seven teams competed in team and individual championships over the course of two days with three different schools earning titles.

For the second year in a row, Masterman took home the girls team trophy, defeating Girls High in the final. Esperanza Academy earned the program’s first boys team title in a close final against defending champions, Masterman. Freshman Jaida Brown earned another title for Masterman in the girls individual competition. Senior Zachery Greene earned back-to-back boys individual titles for Carver High School.

Zachery Greene

“As we reflect on the accomplishments of year two, let us also look ahead with optimism and enthusiasm for the future of the Philadelphia Public League Squash,” said Timothy Morrison, Philadelphia Public League Vice President of Youth Sport Development. “Together, we will continue to foster a culture of excellence, inclusivity and sportsmanship, ensuring that squash remains a vibrant and integral part of our community for years to come.”

The PPL aims to add more schools and teams next season. The PPL players will be able to hone their squash games over the off season with community memberships and opportunity to take part in free clinics twice a week at the Specter Center.

Jayla Cheely

“I have been a part of the Girls High squash team for two years and it has given me a place of belonging,” said Jayla Cheely, a student at Girls High. “Being able to play a life-long sport that will open new doors and opportunities is something I will never take for granted. I am so thankful that the Philadelphia School District and US Squash make it their mission to offer squash to public school students like myself.”

“Last year, most of the kids on our team, including myself, had never even picked up a squash racquet,” said Owen Erdman, a junior at Masterman. “The Specter Center has incredibly provided us with all the equipment, opportunities and resources to succeed. Playing in the Philadelphia Public League has been in an incredible experience for our team.”

Owen Erdman