By Michael T. Bello
Published Sep 21, 2009 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 17, 2009 at 7:05 PM ET

Naval AcademyAnnapolis, MD — The United States Naval Academy returns another strong team for the 2009-2010 season.  The team retains its top four players and seven of its top nine players from last season.  In addition, coach Craig Dawson believes that the incoming freshman class could be his strongest recruiting class in the last ten years.  For this reason, the Midshipmen plan on moving up the rankings.

The Midshipmen have a tradition of charitable work.  In June, last year’s captain Kit Zipf partnered with Perpetual Prosperity Pumps Foundation and donated over 600 shoes to Ghana.  The team has been involved with SquashWise, a Baltimore-based not-for-profit after-school youth enrichment program serving public middle school students.  Dawson told NavySports.com that, “The day with the sixth graders from SquashWise in Baltimore was special for the Navy squash team.  The team has worked with similar organizations in New York and Philadelphia, but this time we had the opportunity to work with a group only 45 minutes away. The team plans to go see the SquashWise group at their location in Baltimore in the future and work in the classroom, as well as play squash.”

The senior class is excited about the season, but also preparing for their life after graduation in the United States Navy. Captain Nils Mattsson plans to apply for the Navy SEAL program, which is bound to intimidate his opponents. Ben Mantica recently served as an intern in the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

2008-2009 Season Recap

SEASON RECORD: 27-8
FINAL RANKING: 14th
NATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: 14th; 6th in Hoehn Cup (B Division)

2009-2010 Season Preview

Returning Players from Team Championships: Nils Mattsson ’10 (1); Allan Lutz ’11 (2); Ben Mantica ’10 (3); Brad Seidel ’11 (4); Justin Langan  ’10 (6);  Tommy McNamara ’11 (8); and Clayton Young ’12 (9)

Graduating Players from Team Championships: Allen Hartley (5); Kit Zipf (7); Will Pappas (10)

Additions for the 2009-2010 Roster:

  • Expected to compete for the 4 through 6 ladder positions: Billy Abrams’13, Hunter Bouchard’13, John Richey’13
  • Expected to compete for the 7 through 9 ladder positions: David Koenig’13, Jack Shinnick’13
  • Other Additions: John Tracey’12, Aidan Crofton’11, Teddy Helfrich’11

Captain: Nils Mattsson ’10

Team Goals: To move up in the rankings and play a strong tournament

Key Matches: Trip to Denison and Williams;  Dartmouth, Yale and Penn at home

To read other team previews, please visit the 2009 – 2010 College Squash Preview Page.