The name Ian Blatchford may seem familiar to many, making it a shock that he is only a freshman and in his first year at St. Luke’s. Those who know Ian often associate him with squash and baseball. However, it is a surprise to many that Ian comes from a family of squash and started playing at age three. “My sister didn’t go to college, she went straight to be a pro. She is ranked twenty-seventh right now in the whole world. She was just in Malaysia for the world open. Everyone thinks Ian plays squash, he’s the best at St. Luke’s, but nobody actually realizes that it is a family thing.” Ian’s sister who went pro for squash is not the only one in his family who has had a successful career in the sport. “My other sister is actually graduating this year from Yale. If squash takes me there then I would totally be up for it.” With his sisters being so accomplished in the sport, it’s hard to believe that he has even more of a family history involving squash. “My mom and dad met while playing squash.” It is easy to tell that squash runs through Ian’s blood.
Although Ian’s family has achieved many accomplishments in squash, Ian was able to add to the family’s success with some of his own. “Personally I’ve won two national championships and my highest rankings in each age group have been number one, number two, number one, and right now number four, but I have another year, so by the start of the year I should be number two.” Despite Ian’s great achievements, he doesn’t believe that squash is necessarily his calling. He could go to practically any school in the country for squash, yet he constantly decides to work hard in an attempt to go to college for baseball. “I want to go to college for baseball, squash is my thing because I know that if I don’t make it in baseball I can always play squash. I want to challenge myself because I know baseball is a lot harder when it comes to that, I just want to go because it is my private joy. I’m the only one who really practices, I wake up a couple times a week in the morning and take swings. I was at the field this past weekend for seven hours. It is definitely what I want to do if I can go D1 and then potentially, this is like a miracle, but get drafted. That’s what would be ideal for me. If I can make it in baseball then I know I can make it in squash.”
In spite of the fact that Ian comes from a family of squash, he also has a certain competitive attitude that makes him great at the sport. For most people this attitude is one of confidence, but for Ian it is a craving. “I’m not the type of person who likes to be in the spotlight, but I also like to be the guy that you can count on. I like having the pressure on my back. Some people don’t want the pressure, but I crave it. It’s funny, I want to be in the situation that most people shy away from. I want it.” Many high level athletes often attribute their success on the field or court from one thing: you have to want it. Ian’s craving of pressure separates him from many. He doesn’t back down from challenges but steps forward and gives everything he possibly can to help his team reach their full potential.
To conclude my interview with Ian I asked him, “did squash make you feel more connected to the SLS community?” His response shows the true spirit of a St. Luke’s student and the St. Luke’s community: “Yes, it definitely did in the beginning. There were some seniors that I didn’t know. Both the boys and girls teams went to nationals for high school and we had the best time ever, it was so much fun. I hadn’t had a moment like that with a group of kids yet at St. Luke’s, it was what I was waiting for. I loved my team at St. Luke’s for squash because I wanted to help my team win, and that’s also what I like about baseball. Now, I feel like the baseball team has been even better because baseball is more of a team sport. There are so many kids on the team I have never interacted with before and now they are my friends.” Ian might seem like just another person in the St. Luke’s community, but it is evident through his success and team-first attitude that he is someone to watch out for.
–Thaise Sudano, Staff Writer