Isaac Maddocks (right) watches a Rannon Johnson return during the first-place match of the junior division. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Juniors impress at Squash Yukon’s Early Bird Tournament

“Everyone arrived on time, lots of people stayed to spectate and cheer people on.”

The squash season kicked off with the annual Early Bird Tournament hosted by Squash Yukon at Better Bodies on Oct. 26 and 27.

Stephen Buckler, president of Squash Yukon, said the tournament went smoothly.

“It was great,” said Buckler. “I think it was the first time I can remember that there were no defaults. Everyone arrived on time, lots of people stayed to spectate and cheer people on — so I thought it went great.”

For the start of the year, the quality of play was notable.

“There was some really good squash played as well,” said Buckler. “You could tell, though, that it was the first tournament of the season — there was a lot of tin.”

In the final match of the tournament, the men’s open final, Julien Revel beat Grayson Peters three sets to one to win the division.

Revel earned his spot in the final with 3-0 victories against Kieran Bertsch and Jonathan Hawkins, while Peters beat Kevin Daffe in five sets and Peter Mather 3-1.

Mather secured third place with a 3-0 victory against Hawkins. Buckler finished fifth with a 3-2 win against Bertsch.

In the mixed A division, Erik Jacobsen beat Will Chetcuti 3-2 to win the division.

Shahid Syed, who lost 3-1 to Chetcuti in the semifinal, beat Terri Cairns 3-0 to claim third.

In the fifth-place match, Stephan Burdess beat Emilie Herdes 3-0.

Thibaut Rondel was the big winner in the mixed B division after beating Ava Cairns-Locke in the final.

Ivan Johnson won third in mixed B with a 3-2 victory against Kevin Smit.

In the battle for fifth, Cole Fischer beat Jeanette Carney 3-1.

In mixed C competition, Andy Brown beat Erica Joubert in straight sets 3-0 to win the division.

Paul Fontaine finished third with a 3-2 victory against Kyle Nault and fifth place went to Jada Smith-Kwok after a 3-1 victory against Mike Stanton.

Rather than a bracket, the junior division used a round robin format to seed players into a first-place or third-place match.

In the junior division final, Isaac Maddocks defeated Rannon Johnson 3-0 to win first overall.

In the third-place match, Darwin Murray beat Lewis Maddocks 3-0.

The play of the juniors was particularly noteworthy with the upcoming Alberta Jesters Junior Open set to run Nov. 9 to 11. Six Yukon juniors will be attending the tournament.

“I think of note was that our juniors played really well,” said Buckler. “There were three juniors in adult divisions that did really well, and then our younger juniors really played well against each other.”

Cairns-Locke finished second in mixed B, Ivan Johnson was third in mixed B and Mackenzie Cameron competed in the men’s open division.

The Tuesday and Thursday leagues both start this week and will run until the end of April.

Next up for the Yukon squash community, at least as far as tournaments go, is the Reservoir Dogs Tournament on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in Whitehorse.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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