By Anne Bello
Published Oct 2, 2010 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 25, 2010 at 5:17 PM ET

Geneva, NY — Just over five years ago, the Hobart Statesmen were a fixture in the top 15, finishing as high as 11th in 2004. Between the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons, however, the Statesmen lost most of their varsity players to graduation, and the team dropped from 12th to 29th.

Last season was one Hobart’s most successful in recent years. The Statesmen finished 2009-2010 ranked 26th in the country and second in the Conroy Cup (“D” Division). Daniel Pelaez also earned All-Liberty League honors in his first year of collegiate play. The good news for Hobart is that all but one player from last year’s roster — number 5 Dane Evans — will be back in Geneva, so that team can build upon the successes of the previous season.

There will also be four additions to the Statesmen’s roster. George Riggs, who posted winning records at the number 8 and 9 positions during the 2008-2009 season, will be returning after taking a year off. The team will also get three first-year players with prep school squash experience: Will Boyle (Suffield), T.J. Dyer (Tabor), and Eddie Gentile (Westminster). Boyle and Dyer are expected to compete for spots on the varsity team. Gentile will be working on rehabbing his knee with the goal to be playing injury-free by the start of the second semester.

Leading the Statesmen will be senior tri-captains Luke Esselen, Grant Palermo, and Carl Ranieri. Last year, Esselen designed and developed a program in which he and several other students — including Palermo and Willis Stephens, another squash teammate — developed Geneva’s new Department of Media and Communications. Esselen and Ranieri received Hobart’s Dr. Frank P. Smith ’36 Award for leadership last season, and Palermo received the R. Chapin Siebert ’75 Memorial Squash Trophy Award.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 6-16
Final Ranking: 26
Team Championships: 26th Overall; 2nd in Conroy Cup (D Division)

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: Carol Weymuller

Returning Players from Team Championships: Grant Bercari (10); Luke Esselen (3); Edgardo Gonzalez (6); Corey Kabot (1); Kevin Kent (8); Grant Palermo (4); Daniel Pelaez (2; All-Liberty League); Carl Ranieri (7); Will Stephens (9);

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Dane Evans (5)

Additions to 2010-2011 Roster:

  • Previously played in bottom 3: George Riggs
  • Expected to compete for starting positions: Will Boyle and T.J. Dyer
  • Expected to play in second semester: Eddie Gentile

Captains: Luke Esselen, Grant Palermo, and Carl Ranieri

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