FitzGerald Cup again

The FitzGerald Cup recaptured by Washington!



Prepared by Co-captains Glenn Canner and Malcolm Jensen

The 64th annual FitzGerald Cup competition between Washington and Baltimore was played on January 21st at the University Club of Washington, DC, with the home team recapturing the cup which had stayed briefly with our friends from the North.  By winning for the tenth time in the past eleven years, the Washington team extended its overall historic dominance to forty-five wins with only nineteen losses.

The Washington team won twelve matches this year while losing only one.  Several of the matches were much more exciting than the overall score might suggest.  Jonathan Lam, after losing the first two games to the Baltimore team’s brilliantly crafty Riaz Arshad, came back to win in five.  Glenn Canner, Washington’s co-captain, survived three match balls to eke out a win over Baltimore’s co-captain (and long time FitzGerald Cup benefactor), Bob Travers.

Another particularly tight match featured Washington’s number one player, Dan Petrie, and Andrew Gillard, a gifted young South African player currently visiting Baltimore.  Dan lost the first two games to the youngster, and found himself at risk of his first ever FitzGerald Cup loss.  As the players returned to the court after the brief break following second game, spectators could not help but feel Dan’s intense focus.  Dan refused to lose the third game and went on to win in five.

Overall, the Washington team was led by a strong contingent of younger players; all with extensive recent college squash experience.  In addition to Dan Petrie (All American at Brown), the team included Peter Sopher and Tom Mckay from Princeton and Jake and Alex Gross from Tufts.

The team also included Shai Ingber from Princeton and Ben Hoefs from George Washington, both of whom played great squash!

In addition to the team members noted above, the Washington squad was bolstered by four other returning members, Rod Barnes, Chip Lindquist, Ross Campbell and Terry Hindermann.  As a group these very experienced and talented players really took it to their Baltimore opponents collectively losing only two games while winning twelve.

The FitzGerald Cup competition was established by the late Honorable Ambassador William H.G. FitzGerald to stimulate friendly, but fierce, competition between thirteen-person teams (Both men and woman can play on the team.) representing, respectively, the Washington and Baltimore areas.  At its origin, the competition was between members of The University Club of Washington, DC, and members of The Maryland Club of Baltimore.  About forty years ago, the teams were broadened to include players representing their metropolitan areas.  Each thirteen-person team must include one player each over the ages of 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60. The remaining seven on each team may not include touring professionals.

The FitzGerald Cup, the longest-existing, continuously running, inter-city squash competition in the US, has engendered many enduring friendships and a great spirit of camaraderie among the players (who over the years total in the several 100s).  This is just what Ambassador FitzGerald had envisioned.

An important aspect of each year’s event is the social gathering that follows the squash.  The Baltimore contingent was led by co-captains Robert Travers and Colin Campbell, both of whom, in addition to playing some mean squash, work tirelessly to ensure that the competition continues as a first-class event.  Again, this year, the University Club hosted the team competition and the ensuing cocktail party and dinner.  With the club’s first rate food, very nice wine and excellent service, the affair was a great success.  The Washington team is grateful to The University Club for continuing their very generous, decades-long support of this event, and is particularly indebted to Howard Day and Ghirma Meres for, again this year, helping to arrange the event and guiding the day’s activities.