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Charlotte Squash Clasic

Resurrection: Squash Tournament Revives Sport in Queen City

Charlotte – While the rest of the country busily scoured shops for holiday deals, 32 squash players descended on Core Fitness from November 30-December 2 for the inaugural Charlotte Squash Classic.

A few players traveled from as far away as Atlanta and Charleston to compete, but more important, the tournament featured 20 players from Mecklenburg County. In many ways, squash has been a forgotten sport in Charlotte with few places to play and no centralized community of players.

Peter Popovich, an accomplished local tennis and racquetball player, was introduced to squash at the Dowd YMCA where there are no regulation courts, but is home to a dedicated group of early-morning players. It was Popovich who organized the USSRAsanctioned tournament.

“Squash is a great game,” says Popovich. “We know of more than 100 players in the region, but we had no local tournament. Now we do.”

Contested in six skill categories, from 3.0 to 5.5, the Charlotte Squash Classic featured play across a wide range of experience and talent levels, but everyone – from firsttimers to former national champions like Richard Millman – agreed that the tournament must return in 2008.

Because of the event’s success, Popovich and Core Fitness owner Jea Jung are considering hosting two tournaments next year – the first in May, the second in November.

In The Finals:

3.0 - Trey Boone def. Bob Boone
3.5 - Mack Knight def. Rama Vetury Consolation - Michael Fresina def. Eric Choltus
4.0 - Harry Miley def. Neeraj Khanna
4.5 - Peter Popovich def. Ralt Bohn
5.0 - Jose Calderon def. Ranil Goonesekera
5.5 - Richard Millman def. Justin Mather


(Click photo to view slideshow)