By Anne Bello
Published Sep 18, 2010 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 18, 2010 at 11:53 AM ET

Hamilton, NY — Colgate has quietly become one of the top five club teams in the nation. The Raiders had their best season ever in 2009-2010, finishing 30th overall at the Men’s National Team Championships.

And they accomplished this without their team at full strength. Senior Johnny Russell, who had played at the top of the ladder in the past, was out with an injury for most of the season. Junior Jamie Beddow, a seasoned player who competed in the middle of line-up, studied abroad last year. The losses of Russell and Beddow did not deter the Raiders, however. “The players welcomed the challenge of ‘playing up’ on the roster,” captain Gray Huffard explains.

That experience and attitude should come in handy this season. Beddow will be back on the team, but two key players — captain Steve Carey and Kyle Deombeleg — will be abroad during the fall semester. Even so, Colgate’s roster should grow. “There is a growing interest to play competitive squash which has greatly helped the development of our program over the past few years,” Huffard says. “We look forward to adding several first year players in addition to several other returning students to our roster.” The squad will also get the opportunity to work with squash pros in the Tri-State Area, which should only help the players’ improvement.

“Our 2009-2010 finish as #30 was the best yet for the program. This season we look forward to breaking into the #20 teams,” says Huffard.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 2-6
Final Ranking: 30
Team Championships: 30th Overall; 6th in Conroy Cup (D Division)

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status:
Club

Administrative Director:
Janet Little

Returning Players from Team Championships: Steve Carey (3; abroad fall 2009); Andrew Cherna (5); Kyle Deombeleg (4; abroad fall 2009); Jake Gregory (10); Gray Huffard (2); Kit Norris (8); Jamie Pellechi (7); John Ranieri (9);

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Rob McCary (1; 2009-2010 Captain); John Williams (6), Johnny Russell

Addition to the 2010-2011 Roster: Jamie Beddow

Captains: Gray Huffard and Steve Carey

Team Goals: Finish the season in the 20’s

To read other team previews, please visit the 2010 – 2011 College Squash Preview Page.