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Squash star reaches national rank

By Jason Yoffe
Published: November 2009

Despite no current school squash club, sophomore and squash player Aaron Weinstein ranks thirteenth in the state and 173th in the nation in the Juniors Boys Under 17 (BU17) Division.

Taking up the sport in 2006, Weinstein has only played for two and a half years.

“He is phenomenal for the amount of time put in, Chris Brownell, Weinstein’s coach, said.

Brownell, formerly ranked second professionally in the nation, believes Weinstein is a natural squash player.

“He has a cannon for an arm, she said. “Sometimes opponents look at him like, ‘ËœHow did he hit the ball like that?’

Last year during practice, Brownell recounts Weinstein hitting a succession of hard shots, resulting in broken strings on the racquet.

She also believes Weinstein’s athleticism from his time as wide receiver for the school’s football team and center fielder for the baseball team has allowed him to compete at a high level.

Weinstein says he does not prefer squash over football or baseball, but he does believe that certain aspects of the sport are better than those of others.

As a player who has a tendency to hit powerful shots rather than beat his opponent with finesse, Weinstein favors the ability to let loose on the court.

“You don’t really have to restrain your energy, he said. “You can win by strength.

Weinstein also enjoys the fact that squash is not a team sport, embracing the reality that only he holds the satisfaction and responsibility for both rewarding and disappointing performances.

“You don’t have to worry about other people, he said. “You just have to plan in your head what you are going to do the night before the match.

Because Weinstein does not have the same experience as others of his caliber, he considers himself almost as an underdog.

“I feel like I have a disadvantage because I don’t have much time to practice, he said. “I do feel like I can compete with [better players] when I get more practice.

Weinstein uses his inexperience, however, as motivation.

“I know I have a lot of potential. I embrace it and keep trying to reach it, he said.

Although Weinstein made considerable improvements from last season, he feels next year will be even more successful. One of the younger players in the BU17, he feels tournament experience this year will benefit him in the future.

“If I can get a lot of experience and subject myself to a lot of talent, I feel like I will be in a good position for next year, he said. “My goal is to practice four to five times a week, which will hopefully help me in the rankings.

Weinstein currently finds himself practicing once or twice each week.

One reason for lack of practice time is because South does not have its own squash club, according to Weinstein, noting that the majority of the top squash players in the state attend private schools with highly acclaimed squash programs.

“It’s not going to get served up to him on a silver platter like the kids are in private schools, Brownell said.

Weinstein’s parents are currently organizing a coalition of Newton North and South squash players. They hope the club will begin next year.

Weinstein currently plays at the Newton Squash and Tennis Club.

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