Pictured from left: Max Conder, Mason Smales, Tarin Love, Jack Conder (Captain), Arnd Arelmann, Jaeswen Kwan and Hasan Pathan
MAGS Premier Boys Squash team made history when they won the Secondary Schools Squash National Title for the school for the first time last weekend in Tauranga.
The secondary schools national squash champs has been held since the mid-1980s, and about nine years ago the MAGS Boys got close when they lost 3-2 in the final against Auckland Grammar. Michael Blanchard was part of that team and has returned to coach the boys along with Julian Conder, who is also the manager.
Mr Conder said, “The team has been training every Thursday morning just for this event on top of all their other rigorous training and tournament commitments that they are involved in, which include Auckland and National squads for three of the players.”
Results for NZSS Squash Nationals:
Round 1 v Aquinas College (Tauranga) – Won 5/0.
Round 2 v Sacred Heart College (Auckland) – Won 5/0.
Round 3 and Quarterfinal v Takapuna Grammar – Won 5/0.
Round 4 and Semi-final v Auckland Grammar – Won 5/0.
Round 5 and Final v Tauranga Boys College – Won 3/1. Final match not played as it was a dead rubber.
Mr Conder said, “MAGS were seeded 1 and Tauranga Boys College were seeded 2. However, on paper the match-ups of player-on-player were very close. MAGS did extremely well to win the final on the opposition team’s home courts, and for MAGS to only drop one match out of 24 matches played is very impressive.
“Overall, the boys were a pleasure to coach and manage throughout the three days. They definitely exemplified the MAGS Way values and their sportsmanship against the weaker opposition teams in the earlier rounds was something to be proud of. I would also like to acknowledge Jack’s captaincy of the team over the three days and he delivered an excellent speech on behalf of the team and MAGS upon receiving the cup at prizegiving. Thank you also to Aase Diegel, who has been involved with the boys throughout this year and supported over the weekend.”