Following a squash career at Greenwich Academy in which she was part of four national and New England championship teams, Binney Huffman is headed to Harvard University, which has also made a habit of winning titles.
Huffman, who recently concluded her senior year at Greenwich Academy, will take her squash skills to Harvard, which has captured the national squash championship six consecutive years and has posted five straight undefeated seasons.
Yet before Huffman begins her next squash chapter at the collegiate level, she received one more high school honor.
U.S. Squash announced its High School All-American team last week and Huffman was among the 23 female players in the nation who was selected for the honor.
“It is great for me to wrap up my senior year with this recognition,” Huffman said. “I really appreciate receiving this honor in my final U.S. Squash season. It’s a bittersweet ending, because junior squash has given me so many amazing opportunities.”
Huffman flourished at the No. 1 and 2 spots for Greenwich Academy this past season — a campaign that saw the Gators win the Division I title at the U.S. High School Team championships for the fifth straight season and the New England Class A championship for the ninth consecutive year.
“Playing for GA and having such amazing teammates on my side was so rewarding,” said Huffman, a Greenwich resident. “Getting to play on the team for four years makes you realize how important it is to be on a team, because junior squash is an individual sport. It’s nice to have teammates supporting you and someone from your team playing on the court next to you.”
In Huffman’s senior squash season for the Gators during the winter, she played at both the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. At the New England Interscholastic Squash Association Class A Tournament, she won another individual New England title, claiming the No. 2 division player championship with a 3-0 victory in the finals.
She also won individual New England titles her junior and sophomore seasons for GA.
“Binney has had a great career at GA,” Greenwich Academy coach Luke Butterworth said. “She played on the team for six seasons — two years in middle school and four years on the high school team. She has played amazing squash and has improved throughout the years.”
Huffman has benefited from the coaching she’s received from her private coach, Rodney Martin and Butterworth, who she played for at Greenwich Academy.
“He (Martin) has been my coach for five, or six years and he pushes me to be the best I can be,” Huffman said. “His training is hard and he really pushes me each practice to do the best I can. At GA, Luke really cares about the team, he’s done a great job of forming a team community. Everyone loves to play on the team and he always gives great advice.”
One of several signature squash moments for Huffman at Greenwich Academy occurred when she won the clinching match in the team’s 6-1 win over Agnes Irwin School from Bryn Mawr, Pa., with a 3-2 comeback victory.
“I remember looking up at the court and seeing my teammates cheering me on,” Huffman said of that special match she experienced her sophomore season. “All of my teammates were running up to me, after I won that match.”
Along with Emma Carney, another GA senior standout, Huffman served as captain of the Gators’ 2019-2020 squad.
“Binney and Emma Carney helped make squash enjoyable for their peers,” Butterworth said. “They showed great leadership, dedication and the determination to improve.”
Huffman finished her junior squash career ranked No. 8 in the U.S. Squash Girls’ Under-19 division.
“It’s no surprise that Binney is heading to Harvard with the dedication she has shown to the sport and to academics,” Butterworth said. “She is very resilient, focused and is a tough player.”
On the U.S. Squash circuit, Huffman represented Team USA at the 2019 Pan American Junior Championships in Toronto, Canada. She advanced to the quarterfinal-round in the Under-19 division.
Huffman also played with Team USA at the British Junior Open this past January, making it to the second round in the girls’ Under-19 bracket.
“One of my favorite memories of junior squash was competing in the international tournaments,” she said. “I had a great time playing against players from all over the world. From getting to play in tournaments, to having the opportunity to travel — I was lucky to experience how fun it was to play junior squash.”
The spring season at Greenwich Academy would have seen Huffman play lacrosse for the Gators. Yet the season was suspended to the COVID-19 crisis, which forced students throughout the nation to shift to distance learning.
“It was difficult, some of my best friends are on the team,” Huffman said. “But we kept in contact all there and we were still there for each other in spirit.”
Huffman, 19, is excited for her the next chapter to her academic and athletic career at Harvard.
“Harvard has one of the best women’s squash team, both the women’s and men’s team won the national championship,” she said. “I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get to play on the team, but coming from GA, I feel prepared. I can’t wait to start a new journey.”