It ended with a riveting finish.
Sweat pouring over these two competitors like an early spring rain. A classic match of the titans as Simon Franklin and Mike Mehr battled in the final round of the 2012 BC Web Spring Open.
Going back and forth for nearly an hour a large crowed started to gather at the BV Poll Squash Courts as Franklin and Mehr headed into the final match of a best of five series.
With Franklin taking a 2-1 lead early in the match the intensity was building as two of the top players in Smithers went head to head.
As the game progressed Mehr went on the attack scoring a few commanding points to push ahead of Franklin. Equally matched, volleys went on, playing some of the best squash Smithers’ courts have seen all year.
After a few missed attempts, Franklin’s game was deteriorating as Mehr went on to finish strong 11-3.
“Mike and Simon is a classic,” Franklin said, laughing. “We’ve been playing for 10 years, we’ve probably played a thousand times, Mike’s got the slight edge so I guess the top-seeded player came through.”
Although another year is ending the diehards, as organizer Mark Edwards put it, keep playing right through the summer.
And maybe moreso this season. Squash has been growing its numbers in the past few years.
With a new junior program starting up this year, young players are starting to build sharper skills.
“It’s great to see such a high level of local squash,” said Edwards.
“What Smithers has is so much in terms of younger people coming up, in particular to this tournament, with Kyle at BC Web, Ryan Jones and Jeff, a whole bunch of these young guys are coming up through the ranks.
“it’s great for the future of the sport. These guys are going to be replacing us, this will be A ball squash in no time.”
With a growing club in Smithers and a new junior program up and running, even the high school with Mr. DeYoung getting beat by one of his students Trent Moncton, shows high school-level squash is becoming a popular sport in the valley.
“We have some local mixes going on in the B division with Ron Samoto and Brian Irvine because Ron beat Brian in the round robin, Brian turned around and beat Ron in the finals,” Edwards said.
“We have great representation from across the Northwest,” he continued.
“With people coming from Prince George, Hazelton and Terrace. Clyde Leo from Hazelton has been taking out the C division so that’s fantastic.” It’s just fantastic Squash here in the Valley.”
The Smithers Squash Club would like to thank their sponsors BV Insurance and BV Credit Union for their support.