Wakefield Squash: 2017 National Champions
With both a national championship and a national semi-finalist finish since 2017 and boasting nationally-ranked players in multiple years, Wakefield Squash is a small but powerful force in the Athletics Department.
After years of roaming the countryside in terrible winter weather each year in search of both practice courts and competitors willing to host, the team has had a home on campus since 2017 in the J.B. Rich Squash Center, Wakefield's newest athletic facility.
In addition to the Co-ed Varsity team, the Athletics Department offers Developmental Squash for beginners in both Middle and Upper Schools, to secure the young sport's continued popularity, growth, and success.
Squash can be of great benefit both to health and to a child's future. Squash has been rated the #1 healthiest sport in the world by Forbes Magazine, based on the criteria of cardiovascular endurance, strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, calories burned in 30 minutes, and injury risk. And according to Wakefield’s coach Mark Broekman, “Many top colleges in the U.S. (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, UVA, UPenn, Columbia, Cornell, Drexel, and more) have amazing squash programmes, and top-level squash players in the U.S. at high school level can get recruited to those top schools through their squash playing achievements as well as their academics.”
Wakefield’s Squash team competes in the Chase Interclub Varsity League (CIVL), sponsored by the Chevy Chase Athletic Club, and also the Mid-Atlantic Squash Organization (MASO) League, under the auspices of U.S. Squash. All league competitions also feed into each team’s bid to compete in the U.S. High School Team Squash Championships, held each February in Connecticut.
In CIVL’s Division I, comprised of ten schools in the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. region, Wakefield has remained competitive over all the years of its Squash program, winning the championship title each year from 2011-2014 and from 2017-2020.
MASO is comprised of Wakefield and seven other Varsity teams, including some well-known regional powerhouses: Woodberry Forest, St. Christopher’s, Mercersburg, St. Anne’s-Belfield, Potomac, Episcopal, and Gonzaga. Wakefield Squash finished in its highest-ever position of 4th in the team's last competitive season in the MASO League in 2019-20.
In 2017, the first year after the launch of the J.B. Rich Squash Center, Wakefield’s Varsity team made its first trip to the U.S. High School Team Squash Championships and returned as national champions in Division VII, securing Wakefield’s first-ever national-level title in any sport. And after the team's high-performing 2019-20 season (and just before COVID-19 brought sports to a halt), Wakefield Varsity Squash was listed as a Division V team for the 2020 U.S. Championships, the highest division listing in the Squash program's history. Wakefield went on to finish in 4th place in the Division V national competition.
Mark Broekman, Touring Professional
British squash professional Mark Broekman has overseen Wakefield Squash for four years alongside his own playing career and current US touring. An Honors graduate with a British Psychological Society-accredited degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology, he holds a Level 2 certified England squash coaching qualification and has 10 years of coaching experience with all ages and abilities, from absolute beginners to top-50 ranked players in the world. He also has seven years of experience playing professionally himself on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) world tour. He achieved his highest PSA Ranking of #152 in the world in May of 2020, and has been a PSA top-180 ranked player in the world for the previous five years.
Individual Student Achievements
Wakefield's current #1 player:
- #15 Boys U11 national ranking
- #24 Boys U13 national ranking
- 2019 US Junior Silver Championship Bronze medalist
- 2018-2019 National Capital Squash MVP Award
- 2017-2018 US Squash William T. Ketcham Most Improved Honorable Mention Award
Among past Wakefield squash players:
- One Athlete ranked in among the top 100 in U.S. 2017 & 2018
- One ranked in 2012
- Three ranked in 2010 & 2011