Presented annually since 1983, the Skillman Award is given to a senior men’s squash player who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during his entire college career. Candidates are evaluated for their on-court poise and demeanor; skill level and ability in the game of squash; team play; contributions to intercollegiate squash; leadership; and cooperation with players, coaches, and tournament officials.
The award is named for former Yale head coach John Skillman, who led the Bulldogs for over forty years. Skillman was inducted into the Men’s College Squash Hall of Fame in 1990. This year’s award was presented at Past Champions Gala, which was part of the 2016 Individual Championships held at Chelsea Piers (CT).
Khalifa burst onto the college squash scene by helping St. Lawrence make their first-ever appearance in the top division, the Potter Cup, at the National Team Championships. The Saints maintained a position in the Potter Cup for his four-year career, including a trip to the national championship final at the end of the 2014 – 2015 season.
At the individual championships, Khalifa also had success. He captured the 2013 Pool Trophy (men’s individual championship) in which he defeated both the 2011 and 2012 Pool Trophy champions. The following season, he finished second at the event, and this season, he made it to the quarterfinals.
Khalifa was named a First Team All-American by the Men’s College Squash Association in 2013, 2014, and 2016.
In conference play, Khalifa had tremendous success. The economics major was the 2013 Liberty League Rookie of the Year. He was named the Liberty League Player of the Year four times, the most in the thirteen-year history of the award. Needless to say, Khalifa was also a four-time member of the All-Liberty League team. He helped St. Lawrence capture three straight league titles.
According to St. Lawrence head coach Chris Abplanalp, “Amr is wonderfully concerned and involved senior captain who is truly a well-liked and thoughtful leader for the team. He works well with the typical range of individual characters always present on collegiate squash teams and has helped build what is now a closely-knit group.”