Co-Captain Aidan Lin ’23 Serves as Mentor For Team

Boys Squash Co-Captain Aidan Lin ’23 found his passion for squash after watching a match on TV when he was seven years old. 

Lin’s calmness allows him to observe his competitors and play smart, according to Alexander Yang ’26. Yang stated that during their matches, he is able to learn a lot from Lin, thanks to his extensive background in squash.

“He’s our number-four [seeded] player. You’ll learn a lot from him, because he has that experience in squash where he’s been playing for such a long time. So, thinking of them really gives me a sense of how calm, especially during intense moments of the match, he is. And I think, for me, it’s just something that is like a lesson that I learn by playing with him is to be calm during matches,” said Yang. 

Squash became an outlet for making connections for Lin. Coming to Andover, Lin prioritized maintaining strong relationships with older and younger teammates alike.  

“I think over time, it was really the people. It was hard for me to [move] to a new city when I was nine years old. And so squash was a really good way for me to meet new people. And the same can be said about coming to Andover. When I first came, I met the whole squash team. And they were basically all mentors to me. So that’s been a really great thing for me to continue doing. Just meeting the people, it’s been really amazing,” said Lin. 

Lin has become the mentor he looked up to Junior year, according to Head Coach John Roberts. Roberts praised Lin for sharing his extensive knowledge with the team.

“He’s been great. Since he arrived on campus as a ninth grader, he’s really grown both as a person but as a teammate, as a mentor for kids. He definitely leads by example, and he knows that he has had to learn from his own little mistakes here and there over the years. He’s been able to impart that knowledge on our younger guys, and he’s someone I can always go to to ask for his advice on how he did things a certain way,” said Roberts.

According to Yang, Lin competed at a high level for more than a decade. Yang commented on how he sees Lin as a stable player with his refined skills and fitness.

“His technique is pretty good. He’s pretty balanced as a player. Because [the] main strategy is to play long rallies… And so I think that’s something that not every player can do, because they have to have good fitness to keep maintaining their high levels [of] squash for a long period of time,” said Yang.

In the current season, Andover’s biggest competition has been Hotchkiss. Lin recalled winning against the team, although he had lost his individual match. He reinstated Andover’s value that the team comes first. 

“I think the most memorable moment for me this season was when we beat Hotchkiss… I had a really tight match. And I [had] won the first two games. And somehow I lost the match, losing the next three games. But I remember coming out, and everybody was excited because we’d won. I realized that even though I had lost personally, our team had won. And I think that’s the type of mindset everybody on the team has,” said Lin.

As the team heads into the New England Interscholastic Squash Association (NEISA) championship and Nationals, Lin hopes Andover maintains its standings. With each individual playing 3-4 matches, the seeding at Nationals can shift depending on the team wins. Lin hopes that Andover can place higher than last year. 

“This weekend is New Englands [NEISA] and the next weekend is Nationals. But I guess team goals-wise, I think we just want to do better than we did last year. I think we placed eleventh at Nationals. And we’ve got a couple of new guys this year. We’re really strong. And essentially, we’ve really only lost to a couple teams this season. So we’re looking pretty good here. We’re locked [seventh] at Nationals. And so, if we play [at] that seeding, we’ll play well above what we did last year,” said Lin.