Nine young squash players represented Bermuda at the Canadian Junior Open (CJO) in Niagara-on-the-Lake. In a pool of 250 of the top squash players from 20 countries, William Frith, Ethan Rosorea, Isabella White, Andrew Cox, Owen Rosorea, Nicholas Southern, Taylor Carrick, Alex Southern and Anaya Smith took to the courts proudly wearing their country’s name on the back of their shirts. For four of our players, this was their first taste of squash overseas.
Owen Rosorea got the team off to a good start, winning his first round match against Felipe Guardia of Costa Rica 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9. Competing at the CJO for the second time, 10 year-old Rosorea proved again that he can hold his own in the Boys Under 13 event (the youngest age category at the tournament). Going down to Caleb Hickox of Canada 3-0 in round 2, Owen found himself facing Ethan Rosorea in the Consolation Round. The brothers thrilled spectators with their show of sportsmanship. After two games that went to a tie-breaker at 10-all, Ethan edged out Owen 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10. Ethan progressed to Consolation round 3 losing to Paulo Ordonez of Mexico 3-1.
Frith, at 9 years old, was no doubt the youngest in the tournament and playing in the Boys Under 13 group. Meeting boys 2 or 3 years older than himself in his 3 matches, he showed no sign of nerves as he took part in his first international tournament. Playing against competitors from Mexico and Canada, Frith steadily increased the number of points won showing plenty of promise for the future.
Competing for the second time at the Canadian Junior Open, Cox met Canadian players for each of his three Boys Under 13 matches. Starting with a bye, Cox dropped his second round match to Ethan Jain 11-4, 13-11, 11-3. He then met Keshav Vyas in the consolation round who dominated the first two games winning 11-7, 11-7, Cox won the third game 11-9, Vyas closed out the match 12-10 in the fourth.
Smith met longtime friend and CASA adversary David Pitcairn of the Cayman Islands. In his second Boys Under 19 match of the tournament, Pitcairn held out to Smith’s onslaught – winning 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7. Later the same day, Smith was back on court. Smith defeated Canadian Ahmed Sabrah 11-5, 14-12, 9-11, 12-14, 11-9.
Southern settled in well at his first overseas tournament, winning his first round Boys Under 13 match against Niam Tejani of Canada 11-8, 12-10, 11-7. Older brother, Alex Southern, also made his inaugural appearance representing Bermuda struggling a little to settle in during his first Boys Under 17 match against Andrew Herring of Canada. Having won the first game 11-9, he went down in the second game 11-3, he regrouped to put up a fight in the third game, narrowly losing 13-11. Unfortunately Herring came in fast and strong to take the fourth game 11-3 and close out the match.
Isabella White – another first time international tournament participant – played Keira Rawlins of Canada in her first round match, going down 11-5, 11-2, 12-10. Getting her footing in the competition, she moved on to meet Canadian Rachael Liu – securing a 3-1 win 11-5, 8-11, 14-12, 11-7. Taking her third match to 4, she fought hard but went down to Jenna Askari of Canada.
Taylor Carrick, seeded 5/8, had a lot riding on this year’s tournament. Following a bye in his first round, Carrick won his second round match against Rodrigo Parra del Riego Noriega of Peru 11-4, 12-14, 11-7, 11-9. Moving on to meet his opponent in the round of 16 – Martin Leon also of Peru – the stakes were high for both players anxious to make the Boys Under 19 Quarter-Finals. After an hour-long match, Carrick narrowly missed the opportunity going down 7-11, 11-8, 14-12, 12-14, 7-11 to Leon. Having left everything on court in his match with Leon, Carrick then lost 3-0 to Jose Reyes of Mexico to finish 13/16.