Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 3:15 am | Fog/Mist 53º

 
 
 
 

High School Senior David Quintero Leads Santa Barbara Team to Squash Championship Victory

Dillon Miller, Clay Rodgers, David Quintero, Alan Fox, Sebastian Paredes and Jason Feinberg in San Diego after winning the Southern California High School Squash League championships. The plaque the winners received is named after Fox, who is a former president of the U.S. Squash association and an active squash player in Los Angeles. Click to view larger
Dillon Miller, Clay Rodgers, David Quintero, Alan Fox, Sebastian Paredes and Jason Feinberg in San Diego after winning the Southern California High School Squash League championships. The plaque the winners received is named after Fox, who is a former president of the U.S. Squash association and an active squash player in Los Angeles.  (Santa Barbara School of Squash photo)

For the third year in a row, five young players from the Santa Barbara Athletic Club won the Southern California High School Squash League championship, which took place the first weekend in March in San Diego.

The team dominated play so thoroughly that they did not lose a match during three weekends of play this winter. 

In addition, the team’s No. 1 player, David Quintero, a senior at San Marcos High School, won the individual tournament, making him the Southern California High School League champion. He dominated the individual tournament as well, not even dropping one game during the tournament. 

“It was really awesome to finish my high school career that way,” said Quintero, 17, who next year plans to play for Bates College in Maine, which is ranked in the top 20 of college squash programs. Quintero earned early acceptance to Bates along with a generous scholarship.

Other players on the team include Dillon Miller, a sophomore at Dos Pueblos High School; Sebastian Paredes, a freshman at Dos Pueblos High School; Clay Rodgers, a sophomore at Laguna Blanca; and Jason Feinberg, a junior at Santa Barbara High School. 

Quintero and Peredes are members of the Santa Barbara School of Squash, a nonprofit program that not only teaches low-income students how to play squash but also provides academic tutoring and mentoring as well.

Both Quintero and Peredes joined the program as elementary school students because their parents were working as maintenance workers at the Santa Barbara Athletic Club. 

Although Quintero has played in — and won — many individual tournaments sanctioned by the U.S. Squash Association, he said he prefers team play because it’s more fun. 

Santa Barbara player David Quintero (left) beat Ever Avery of the Cate School 3-0 during an early round of the Southern California High School League squash championships. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara player David Quintero (left) beat Ever Avery of the Cate School 3-0 during an early round of the Southern California High School League squash championships.  (Santa Barbara School of Squash photo)

“We have really good camaraderie on our team,” he said. “It’s great to be able to support your teammates and to coach them.”

His teammates agree, citing Quintero as a role model for the team. 

“We’ve been playing together for so long, and we’ve gotten so close as a team,” said 15-year-old Miller. “David is a fun guy, but he’s always focused. He’s always trying his best, working hard and trying to get better. I try to mirror his play on the squash court.”

Impressively, the five boys won the championship without a coach. The team’s previous coach, Orla O’Doherty, moved to Ireland earlier this winter, so the boys coached each other and organized their own practices. 

In addition to practicing as much as possible, Quintero teaches younger kids in the School of Squash how to play. Just two days after winning the Southern California championships, he was out on the court, patiently hitting the ball to young players for an hour. 

“He’s been a terrific example to everyone both on and off court,” said Robert Graham, the executive director of the School of Squash. “His sportsmanship, his effort, his attitude — you couldn’t ask for anything more.”

For Quintero, who wrote one of his college essays about how squash changed his life, joining the School of Squash opened up a whole new world of challenges and opportunities.

Thanks to donors to the School of Squash, Quintero has traveled out of town in the last four years to more than 35 squash tournaments, traveling as far away as New Haven, Conn., and Portland, Ore. As a result, he has earned a national ranking of No. 97 for the Boys Under 19 age group. 

“David is the perfect example of why the Santa Barbara School of Squash exists. When he started, he wasn’t a particularly good student or athlete, but he worked hard at it, and he continues to work hard, and that’s why he’s had such great success,” Graham said, who noted that Quintero has become an excellent student with top grades. 

Squash is a racquet sport played on an indoor court between two players, who hit a rubber ball back and forth with long racquets. Players need to be extremely fit since points can last five minutes or more, with the ball traveling at high speeds.

In Santa Barbara, there are three courts at the Santa Barbara Athletic Club and two courts at UC Santa Barbara. 

During the team tournament, the Santa Barbara team competed against Cate School of Carpinteria, Harvard Westlake School and Episcopal School, both of Los Angeles, and Torrey Pines High School and Access Youth Academy, both of San Diego.

Access Youth Academy placed second, with Cate in third place.

Two other teams from the Santa Barbara School of Squash also competed in the tournament, in a “B” division, but did not place.

For more information about the Santa Barbara School of Squash, contact Robert Graham at 805.316.0720 or [email protected].

Julia Rodgers represents the Santa Barbara School of Squash.

 

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

Email
I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.