When Greenwich’s Ashton Monteiro posted 3-0 victories in his two matches at the U.S. High School Team Squash Championships in February, it was a microcosm of his standout sophomore season.
Monteiro, 16, excelled at the No. 1 spot for Greenwich High School’s ‘A’ team, consistently providing wins from the top position in the lineup.
His production certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
U.S. Squash recently announced its High School all-American selections and Monteiro made the list.
“I am very grateful to be chosen as an all-American,” Monteiro said. “It has not always been an easy path for me. It’s just proof that the hard work I’ve been putting in is paying off.”
A club sport at Greenwich, the Cardinals have four boys teams (A, B, C, D) based on skill level and several girls squads. Monteiro served as captain of the boys’ ‘A’ team as a sophomore. Greenwich’s boys’ ‘A’ team advanced to the quarterfinal-round of the Division 4 bracket at the U.S. High School Team Squash Championships, with Monteiro going 2-0 for the tournament.
“I like helping my team succeed and being a leader,” Monteiro said. “Next season, I am going to try to continue to lead the group to a solid standing and help enhance the play at Greenwich High School.”
Ranked 48th nationally in the U.S. Squash Under-17 year-old division, Monteiro began playing the sport as a 9-year-old at Sportsplex in Stamford and Stamford-based Chelsea Piers Connecticut. He was coached by Olivia Blatchford-Clyne, a professional player, who won the girls Under-15 division title at the British Junior Open back in 2007.
“What I really like about the sport is the adrenaline rush I get from competing,” Monteiro said. “Whether I am winning, or losing, I am always having fun on the court. It is also a game where you can come back from any deficit.”
Such was the case for Monteiro in a U.S. Squash Under-17 tournament in Chicago.
“I was backed up against the wall against the No. 1 seed in the second round and managed to pull it out and beat him,” he said. “That was the highlight of my career, coming back to beat the No. 1 seed. I always like being the underdog. On the court, it has been an uphill mountain to climb and I like the challenge.”
Monteiro, whose father Antonio also flourished on the squash court, aspires to compete at the collegiate level.
“My dad is the one that helped me get started in squash,” Monteiro said. “Even when I didn’t have a private coach, he was teaching me how to play. I have learned a lot from playing squash — sportsmanship, respect, the importance of always giving it your best.”
Luke Butterworth, the head squash coach at Greenwich Academy, which has won the Division I title at the U.S. High Team Squash Championships five consecutive years, is Monteiro’s private coach.
“I started coaching Ashton around 2012, 2013 for the Connecticut regional team championships and he has a lot of potential,” Butterworth said. “He loves squash and is an all-around great kid.”
Butterworth appreciates the determination and desire Moneiro regularly displays.
“He has knuckled down and worked hard day-in and day-out,” Butterworth said. “He has done the extra work on the squash court and has had some tough battles over the years. Ashton made the Junior Championship Tour level and is one of the top ranked players, thanks to the hard work he has put in.”