Alumni Excelling in College Sports
Before attending Friends Select for her junior and senior years of upper school, Katelynn (Kate) Young ’19 was a seasoned squash player. For eight years, she participated in the sport through SquashSmarts, a non-profit academic and athletic mentoring program that provides squash instruction while imparting personal integrity and service to the community. Unfortunately, by the time Kate arrived at Friends Select, the upper school squash program was no longer running owing to lack of interest.
Having dedicated three days each week to practice, it’s no surprise Kate set her sights on creating an upper school team; by sharing her enthusiasm for the sport, educating her peers, and motivating them to join her, Kate single-handedly resurrected Friends Select’s upper school squash program. A natural leader and athlete, she also served as a member of the tennis team and was recognized as the squash team’s outstanding player for her senior year contributions. Kate served as a mentor for the middle school squash program, and acknowledges Bill Klose, athletic director, as having a similar role in her Friends Select experience. “Bill helped me a lot as I was trying to develop the squash program,” she said. “I could always depend on him for guidance or advice, even outside of athletics.”
Kate is a freshman at Dickinson College, where she serves as a member of the squash team and is interested in studying physics and international business management. Although her fondest memory as a Falcon was the first win of her senior squash season against St. Joe’s Prep, an all-boys school, the characteristics she built as an upper school athlete still resonate with her. “The program emphasized leadership, being responsible for one’s actions, and sportsmanship,” she said. “The Friends Select focus on community and respect for one another is something I still carry with me.”
Emmett Orts ’15 is currently a Master’s candidate in security studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; but his fondest athletic memory at Friends Select is so vivid, it’s as if it just happened. “In the final quarter of the Stotesbury Regatta men’s doubles final—the final major race of my high school career—my teammate, Jacob Jamison ’15 [who rowed at Brown University] and I were in second place by more than a boat length as we neared the finish. As the lead boat continued to slip ahead in
the final stretches of the race, Jake screamed for a sprint,” Emmett said. “We committed together, and the boat took off. We surged ahead near the finish line to win our final Stotesbury race. Standing on the medal dock with my best friend and our coaches will always be one of my proudest moments.”
As a contributor to both the swimming and crew teams, Emmett was recognized for athletic achievements including the Coaches Award graduation prize; three-time most outstanding swimmer, all-league swimmer, and most outstanding rower; as well as gold medal wins in the Stotesbury Regatta Men’s Doubles, SRAA National Championship Men’s Doubles, and Royal Canadian Henley Regatta Men’s Quad. His rowing career continued at Georgetown University, where Emmett was team captain of men’s heavyweight crew and recipient of the AMDG Award, an acknowledgement voted on by fellow team members for level of proficiency, loyalty, and strength of character.
Emmett credits his rowing success and preparation for college-level athletic programming to the coaching he received at Friends Select. “Oliver Ingram ’11 [who rowed at Columbia University] was both the assistant crew coach and my mentor. He had already been through the college athletics recruiting process and recommended that I join a club team at Crescent Boat Club,” he said. “This combination of Crescent Boat Club and Friends Select rowing has so far produced at least five college rowing recruits.”
Of all the things Emmett has experienced as a Falcon, he is proudest of his connections. “The friendships built as a Friends Select athlete are something that I carry with me today,” he said. “There is something about sharing struggles in the pursuit of excellence that brings people closer together.”