Ontario’s fastest growing demographic kicks into action next weekend at Universities and Colleges across the province as the newest of edition of the Jesters University League is upon us.
The 2018-19 league will now feature 13 Men’s and 11 Women’s squads as well as several new schools joining our emerging teams program. Both the talent and depth have continued to rapidly improve with many rosters featuring provincial and national champions alongside former juniors coming back to squash and as well as brand new players to our sport.
Last season’s men’s championships was truly one for the ages with the Sam Burley led U of T squeaking by a deep UWO squad 4-3 in one semi final and Queen’s with the dynamic duo of Cameron Butler and Alex Collins edging out Patrick Morkus’ top seeded McMaster on the other side 4-3. In the final, it was legendary coach Eugene Zaremba’s Golden Gael’s slipper that fit as their Cinderella story went down to the last match where they edged out John Lennard’s U of T Varsity Blues 4-3 to win their first Jesters University League title.
The women’s championship featured two heavyweights of the Jesters League with Josh Ginou’s U of T Varsity Blues led by Evelyn Moorehouse, Rhea Dhar and Juana Chaves upsetting the juggernaut Queen’s Golden Gaels coached by Lisa Coates whose roster is littered with stars including Nora Kamal, Jordan McLachlan, and Alison Richmond on the women’s side.
2018-19 will see all of the top teams retooled with U of T and Queen’s being chased by Waterloo, UWO and Brock on the women’s side. New players to watch on the women’s side will be Catherine Gianchino who will join star Amy Commisso at UWO and Sydney Maxwell of Queen’s who will push for the #1 spot on a loaded squad.
On the men’s side, Derek Moore’s Western Mustangs who also play a full schedule as a Top 10 team in the NCAA will be looking to bring the Jesters League trophy back to London and have added junior stars Liam Marrison, Elliott Hunt and William Kuhn to a roster already brimming with talent. U of T will answer with the addition of Josh Hollings to the top of their line-up and defending champions Queen’s, Guelph, Laurier, MAC, McGill, Ryerson, Waterloo and Brock all have legitimate championship aspirations.
The Jesters University League continues to grow beyond the traditional powerhouses and in 2018-19 will welcome emerging programs Ottawa University quarterbacked by Vinit Kudva, Glendon College with thanks to Aaron Rodrigues, Guelph women behind Alex Nolan’s efforts and Kristen McFall’s Laurier women. Another exciting development will be the return to integration with the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship whereby the Jesters League activity will culminate with one unified championship.
The incredible momentum this league is experiencing could not be possible without the tremendous leadership of the Jesters who continue to put critical time, energy and resources into what is becoming one of the engines that is driving squash in our province. Bert Keene and Alex Carter in particular have been the torch bearers for this program and have positively impacted hundreds of young squash players who now have an outlet to either continue or fall in love with our sport.
Full Jesters University League Schedule can be found below – action kicks off next weekend!
Sectional #1 – Saturday, October 13th – at McGill University
Sectional #2 – Sunday, November 25th – at Ottawa Athletic Club
Sectional #1 – Saturday, October 20th – at University of Toronto
Saturday #2 – Saturday, November 24th – at McMaster University
Sectional #1 – Saturday, October 13th – at Laurier University (Women), and the Kitchener – Waterloo Racquet Club (Men)
Sectional #2 – Saturday, December 1st – at the University of Western Ontario
Crossover #1 – November 3rd and 4th – at Queen’s University
Crossover #2 – January 19th and 20th – at Mayfair Toronto Lakeshore
Finals – February 8th to 10th – at White Oaks Spa and Resort
A huge thank you to the Jesters Club of Ontario for continuing to support such a wonderful outlet for University students to advance their squash careers.