Local squashers played hard in Thunder Bay

Jamie Mountain

A dozen Sunset Country Squash Club players made the trip to the Thunder Bay to play in the annual Balmoral Legal Centre Northwestern Ontario Squash Open Tournament over the weekend in an array of divisions.
In the ‘A’ Open division, ex-Fort Frances junior Steve Boileau, now back home and coaching juniors, competed in his first Thunder Bay tourney in many years. He had a 2-2 record, defeating Nick Alderton of Thunder Bay 3-1 in his final match.
In ‘B’ division play, Mike Canfield and Josh Councillor of the Fort competed hard in a tough division.
Canfield wound up second with a 3-1 record, losing to eventual ‘B’ champ Mike Dorval of Thunder Bay 3-0.
Councillor, meanwhile, captured third spot with 2-2 record. His best match was on Sunday when he defeated Joe Petch of Thunder Bay 3-1 by attacking and commanding the “T” position.
In ‘C’ division action, Fort’s top two juniors met in the final for the winner-takes-all showdown. Ryley Booth prevailed 3-0 over Owen Riches, but the score was not indicative of the closeness of the match.
“They both left it out on the court,” said Sunset Country Squash Club member Bob Tkachuk. “Both will be off to university next year.”
In the ‘D’ division, Jenelle Martin of the Fort cruised through the field until the final, where she met Thunder Bay’s junior Ezra Koester.
The match was a see-saw battle, with Martin prevailing 3-2 in an exciting final.
In the Ladies’ beginner division, Kerry Canfield had a respectable 2-2 showing for her first tournament and placed third.
In the junior ‘A’ and ‘B’ divisions, meanwhile, the Sunset Country Squash Club had four representatives.
Aidan Taggart, competing in his first-ever tourney, had a perfect 4-0 record heading into the championship, which was quite an achievement.
Gabe Gunderson also was playing in his first out-of-town tourney and ended up in third place with a respectable 2-2 record.
In junior ‘B’ action, Hunter Jean had a 3-1 record and snared second place.
“His only loss was to Gabriel Koester of Thunder Bay 3-2 in a real battle,” said Tkachuk.
Lastly, but certainly not least, Carter Payne in his first tourney tied for third with 2-2 record.
“All the juniors played better as the weekend went on, showing improvement,” Tkachuk lauded.
“Giving points away on serves is still a learning curve for the juniors.”
Up next for the local club is the Winnipeg Squash Racquets Club’s tourney on Nov. 29-Dec. 1 for both juniors and adults alike.