By Quinn Brinkworth
At the end of this squash season, Coach Barth announced that he was going to take a step back from coaching after 12 years at SEM.
“My top experience is watching girls progress and learn the game of squash,” said Coach Philip C. Barth III, Buffalo Seminary’s head squash coach in 2009. “Coach,” as his squash players call him, is an attorney by day and squash coach as soon as the clock hits 4 p.m.. Coach Barth, a Nichols High School graduate, found his passion for squash in seventh grade and has continued to love the sport ever since then. Coach Barth usually holds team dinners at the end of the season but due to Covid-19, was unable to have those family dinners this year. I had a brief conversation with Makayla Hudson, a sophomore who started squash her freshman year. Hudson recalled the team dinner as, “Really fun, everyone was there and you got to see your team for the last time.”
I interviewed Nora Collins, a junior, and captain of the squash team. Nora has been playing squash for about six years and just like Coach Barth has loved the sport ever since. When I asked Nora if she felt any pressure being a junior captain she said, “It’s just kind of like I’m the oldest and I’ve been on the team the longest so it just like feels natural,” she continued, “it’s not that much pressure this year because I know mostly everyone [and] I know SEM and the coaches.” The squash team in the 2020-2021 season consisted of 11 girls so everyone is really connected and like a family. One of the events that connects the players even more is Nationals, which was cancelled this year because of Covid-19. When I asked Nora about her top three squash memories she said, “Definitely going to Nationals because you spend quality time with your team and you just create memories there.” The next question I asked Nora was her favorite memory of Coach, she said “When he does his meetings on the bus and then he [falls asleep], I can’t have one favorite memory because I just love his personality.”
Coach told the players that this is not goodbye and he will be checking in on them throughout next season.