A new sport is coming to campus, providing a new and exciting avenue of competition and exercise for McCallie students. Blue Tornado squash is ready to become the next big thing on the Ridge.
Squash is an indoor racquet sport that has a large following around the world with youth and adult players. Its quick pace of play makes it attractive to a wide variety of players, and it promises to become a popular new opportunity for boys to compete and learn.
“Squash is a great addition to McCallie’s athletic offerings,” said Eric Voges ‘81, McCallie’s Director of Tennis Operations. “So many boys are interested in racquet sports, so it’s great to offer this exciting new option that gives out students the opportunity to engage a sport that’s growing across the nation.”
McCallie began offering squash instruction last year at Chattanooga’s new Scenic City Squash, a state-of-the-art squash club established by alumnus Mike Monen ‘92 and his wife, Taylor. The Monens’ work in growing the sport in Tennessee led to Mike Monen being recognized by U.S. Squash as one of the 50 Most Intriguing and Influential People of 2016.
“More than 20 years ago, McCallie was a leader in bringing lacrosse and rowing to the Chattanooga area,” said McCallie Headmaster Lee Burns ’87. “At the time, those sports were not well known locally, but McCallie has built both of those programs to the point where our boys are competitive at a national level. With the introduction of squash, we have yet another chance to introduce boys to a new sport and build a program that we can be proud of for years to come.”
Helping McCallie grow the sport of squash is Richard Millman, who helps run Scenic City Squash and has coached the US squash team and the Cornell University team. Millman will be helping teach the sport to McCallie students and helping develop a team that can compete in interscholastic and regional competitions.
"Squash is more than a sport, it's a life skill,” Millman said in an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “Twelve weeks of the year it's a competitive sport, but the other 40 weeks it's something like learning to play violin or learning to play the clarinet," he said.
In addition to using the Scenic City Squash facility, McCallie has recently completed its own on-campus court. A former racquetball court in the Sports and Activities Center is now a top-quality squash court, giving students and faculty convenient access to learning and playing the sport.
McCallie will offer both a middle school and an upper school team. The teams will play at both the Scenic City Squash Club and on the McCallie campus. 64 boys have signed up for squash this winter.
“We are excited for the opportunity to bring squash to McCallie and have been thrilled by the response from students to this new sport,” said Burns, who played squash while living in Boston many years ago and has picked it up again. “Squash is an exciting sport, and we look forward to building an excellent squash program at McCallie.”