Sixth Former Myles McIntyre completed his SPS squash career with numerous achievements. During his three years in a Big Red uniform, he won 42 matches, with only five losses during that span. This winter, he beat the number three-seeded player in his age group at the British Nationals, one of the game’s most prestigious championships. Finally, McIntyre concluded his final SPS season undefeated, while also being ranked fifth in the nation for his age group. Yet, his favorite memory from the year doesn’t involve those accomplishments.
Instead, it was watching formmate Adrian Wong play the match of his SPS career to help the team win the New England Class B Championships. “He came out of nowhere and won his match in the finals,” beams McIntyre, co-captain of the squad. “It’s those type of moments that made winning Class B New Englands so special. It was an awesome finish for us because we lost a lot this season. It was a perfect ending because everyone had given up on being perfect. We decided to have fun, enjoy the game, and play good squash.”
It came as no to surprise to Coach Chris Smith when McIntyre earned another honor at the season’s end: the US Squash DeRoy Sportsmanship Award
. The prize recognizes a player’s character on and off the court. McIntyre was chosen from a field of his peers from across the country by the sport’s governing body. “Myles will go down as one of the best players in SPS history for his record 42-5 record on court, but he’ll be remembered for his character and sportsmanship,” says Smith.
The praise humbles McIntyre. “I'm really honored to receive the award. It means so much to me,” says the University of Virginia-bound teen. “My coach from home won the squash pro sportsmanship award. He would tell me, ‘Myles, it’s so important that you have good character.’ It’s one thing to win a match, and maybe you pushed a little bit, but it’s another thing to lose, and if you gave it your all and you're a good sport, no one is going to (dismiss you).”
Throughout the season, McIntyre and fellow captain Teddy Morneau ’20 fostered that mindset within the SPS program. In team squash, individual success only carries the group so far. A victory by the top-seeded player on the ladder counts the same as the lowest-ranked player. It’s a cumulative effort to reach the podium.
“You don’t need to be a captain to lead – everyone can be a leader on the team,” explains McIntyre. “The hardest thing as a captain is to keep everyone focused, in good spirits, and positive. Squash is a mentally taxing game. Your mindset, attention to detail, and focus are the most important attributes for a player; it's not their fitness or shot-making ability. It’s one thing to have a team that is quiet on the road, and another that is laughing or joking. How we act on the court is reflective of how we act off the court.” In addition to the Class B championship, the boys earned the team sportsmanship award at the New England tournament.
McIntyre thanks SPS faculty members for their influence over the years: Smith, former adviser Heather Crutchfield, and French teacher Jane Clunie. “They’ve made an impact on my life,” he says. “They’ve helped shape who I am.”