It certainly didn’t take long for Caroline Fouts to make a positive impact as an eighth-grader on the Sacred Heart Greenwich squash team.
Fouts promptly earned the No. 1 spot on the team and was difficult to defeat throughout the season for the Tigers, who produced their best showing in program history at the 2020 U.S. High School Team Squash Championships.
Her standout performances for Sacred Heart and on the U.S. Squash junior circuit earned her All-America status.
U.S. Squash named its 2019-2020 High School All-Americans and Fouts was among 22 female players in the nation to make the impressive list.
“I was honored and grateful to be selected as an All-American,” said Fouts, a 14-year-old Rye, N.Y., resident. “It was an honor to be a part of the SHG squash team this year. My teammates were all so supportive, talented and spirited. I loved going to practices and matches, because the team’s camaraderie was awesome both on and off the court.”
Fouts registered a record of 15-2, while playing at the No. 1 position in the lineup for Sacred Heart. She won all of her matches at the U.S. High School Team Championships at Trinity College this past February, then proceeded to win the No. 1 player title at the New England Interscholastic Squash Association Class A Championships.
“The main words that come to mind when I think of Caroline are hard work,” Sacred Heart squash coach Celia Pashley said. “She never stops working, she is completely focused and fully committed and has very strong character.”
Fouts’ introduction to squash occurred as a 9-year-old and a year later, she was playing competitively. Her first tournament was a U.S. Squash U-11 Bronze event.
“I was very scared to play in it, but I really enjoyed the experience of competing,” she said. “I first got involved in squash, because my friends started playing over the summer and it was a really fun way to hangout with them, while still being active.”
Testing her skills in tournaments became something she eagerly anticipated.
“My favorite aspects of the sport are the tournaments, where I get to see my competitors, some of whom have become very good friends too,” Fouts said.
After competing in U-11 Bronze and Silver tournaments, Fouts began playing in Gold Tournaments in the U-13 year-old division. Working her way up the rankings, she qualified for Junior Championship tournaments.
“With each tournament I played in I improved and so did my ranking,” she said. “Later, I was able to qualify for the U.S. National Team and got to travel to the British Junior Open in Birmingham, England.”
Currently, Fouts is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the U.S. Squash girls’ 15-Under division. She won her age group division championship at the U.S. Junior Open Tournament in 2017.
“I saw her play at the U.S. Open and was like, ‘oh wow’,” who used to serve as an assistant coach for the U.S. Junior team. “My face lit up when she said that she was going to play at Sacred Heart.”
The British Junior Open, which took place this past January, saw Fouts place third in the U-15 division. She won her first four matches at the British Junior Open, before losing in the semifinal-round in four games. In the match for third place, she posted a 3-0 victory.
“What I enjoyed most about these tournaments was having the opportunity to play against very talented players from all over the world,” Fouts said. “Also for the British Open, U.S. Squash formed a team of players to travel and train together with before the tournament. I really enjoyed playing for and representing the United States.”
In February, Fouts finished first in the girls’ Under-17 division at the Mid-Atlantic Junior Championship in Baltimore, MD. She notched a record of 5-0 on her way to winning the title, which she claimed with a 3-0 triumph in the championship match.
At the national high school championships, Fouts went 4-0 in her matches and Sacred Heart finished fourth in the girls’ Division I tournament.
“The team aspect was my favorite part of being on the team,” she said. “Having all my teammates sitting behind each other, cheering and coaching between matches was really motivating and inspired me to always do my best if not for me, but for the team. I felt like I was part of something bigger than just my own play.
My favorite memory of the season was our team’s success at nationals and New Englands. Everyone on the team played with determination and knew that they were being cheered on by their coaches and teammates. The team finished the highest they have ever placed. I also cannot wait until next year’s season.”
Fouts still have four seasons of squash left in her high school career, before moving on to the collegiate level.
“She is a really strong competitor and has really high goals,” Pashley said. “She is always striving to do her best.”
Said Fouts: “My goal is to play squash at the D1 level. I know that it will take a lot of dedication and hard work, but I am determined to make this goal a reality.”