Colorado Springs, CO – After a grueling yet exciting summer for many junior players across the country, today USA Racquetball announced the U.S. National Junior Team roster for the 2020-21 season. Players numbering 66 submitted applications, answered essay questions, sent reference letters, and forwarded a number of training and competition videos to demonstrate why they should be named to the team.
This process, originating from USA Racquetball’s U.S. National Team Committee and administrated by U.S. Junior Team Head Coach Charlie Pratt and three Assistant Coaches, was created to replace the traditional qualifying event––the USA Racquetball National Junior Championships––that was to be competed in June until the pandemic necessitated the cancellation of the event.
Head Coach Charlie Pratt remarked, "Although we were all disappointed that Junior Nationals could not take place, USA Racquetball did our best to adapt to the circumstances and to bring a qualifying process to select the strongest Junior Team. The athletes worked hard for almost two months, giving the coaches a chance to learn more about their training routines and their overall commitment to racquetball. The selection process was challenging, and the hardest part by far was deciding who would be named to the team and who would not. We wish we could include everyone, but the athletes should rest well knowing that they gave everything they had. We are all proud of their incredible efforts. Huge thanks go to Junior Team Assistant Coaches Jody Nance, Robbie Collins and Jen Meyer. Without them, none of this would have been possible."
Larry Haemmerle, Chairman of the U.S. National Team Committee, added, “The process for selecting our National Junior Team this year has been incredible. The committee recognized the necessity of naming a Junior Team in spite of the cancellation of the USAR National Junior Championships. For some players, this was their last year of eligibility, and we couldn't imagine having them miss out on their final opportunity."
Haemmerle continued, “This was a demanding and detailed undertaking, and the committee and I extend our appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the coaching staff, advisers, and all of the players, their parents, and their coaches as well.”
A decision has yet to be made on when and where an IRF World Junior Championships event might be held, but the U.S. Junior Team has been named, and all hope they will be able to compete for their country if they and their families can safely travel to do so. Congratulations on a job well done to those named to the team and indeed to all who participated. They are the source of much pride to the Board of Directors, Staff, and Members of USA Racquetball!
The U.S. National Junior Team roster can be viewed here.
Contact: Mike Wedel, Executive Director, USA Racquetball