Being a captain of a district league team can be a thankless job, but these leaders find that the rewards far outweigh the challenges
Keith Munsell, Massachusetts: Keith was captain of a hardball team back in the good old days on the narrow courts with that rock hard ball. He won what was then the team ‘D’ state championships at the Newton YMCA. He has gone on the captain the 50+ Maugus softball team for ten years and won both 2013 and 2015’s 50+ championship.
Sharon Schwarze, Philadelphia: Sharon has been a PWSRA and PSRA league captain for over thirty years, captaining over sixty teams, winning two (men’s) B doubles titles, the second thirty years later than the first. “The first was in the mid 1980’s, the second was in 2013, when Berwyn defeated a much younger Racquet Club team.” “The 2013 team had a deep roster.” “In the ’80s there was only the four of us.”
Page Lansdale, National Capital: Page plays and captains the Division II team at Bethesda Sport & Health Club in Bethesda, MD. One of the greatest challenges as captain is “getting all the players to the right location on league night.” Despite distributing the league schedule to all the players and no less than two reminders before each match with specific instructions on where and when, he routinely gets the last minute email, “hey, Coach, is there a match tonight?”
James Perez, New York: James has been involved with Uptown in the New York Squash league for the past seven years as captain of a 4.0 team. His teams have made the playoffs every year except one, and made the finals in 2012. James returned to squash after a twenty-five year absence due to a squash knee injury and is “immensely thankful for all the good work US/NY Squash do for of us.”
David Kerr, Northern New Jersey: David has spent thirty years as a player, team captain, league organizer and District President. He has gone from D to A and is “now heading the other direction and about ready to transition to the larger blue ball.” Over the years, he has mediated many on-court and off-court disputes, but walked away with many long-term friendships.
Milan Kratka, Chicago: Milan has been “privileged to captain a squash team in Chicago leagues since 2009.” He used to play badminton competitively when a friend hooked him onto squash a dozen years ago. He has named his team “Child’s Voice” in honor of the oral school for hearing impaired kids. Milan dreams that one day all professional teams will represent a charity. “It would add inspiration for everyone to work hard for a cause.”
Allan Bakalian, Seattle: His Seattle squash play all started in 1988 when he joined the now defunct College Club. In the 1990s he joined the Columbia Athletic Club at Juanita Bay. For over twenty years since then, he has captained several teams and amassed over a baker’s dozen of division championships and runner up awards. Seattle’s squash league is now three divisions, and his Juanita Bay Nix team is still going strong.
Peter Thompson, Northern California: He has captained and played for over twenty years as a member of the Decathlon Club, Santa Clara, squash team, winning the Northern California Division 1 Championship six times. In 2014 his complete team moved to Los Gatos Squash Club in the Bay Area, where they took again took first place.
Four-Year Scholar Athlete Award Recipients