Coleman Wampler: Extroverted, STEM-Driven Squash Star


From having zero experience going into high school to now being the number one player on the team, Coleman Wampler ‘22 is a key leader for Friends Select’s Varsity Squash Team. 

Coleman first seriously picked up the squash racquet in his freshman year. At the time, he had played recreationally once before with a friend and was promptly hooked. This experience led him to pursue squash all four years of high school, along with his two other sports, soccer and tennis. “I like [squash] because it’s a very individual sport. You can only rely on yourself and kinda push yourself to be better. It’s very easy to see where you need to improve and make yourself better,” Coleman explains.

During Coleman’s years in high school, the squash team has been very small. He describes it as a very “laid-back” environment in which everyone actively enjoys playing. There is no complaining about practice. He also notes that it feels very much like an out-of-school extracurricular activity because there are no teachers who are also coaches, or otherwise involved with the team. 

Despite the relaxed atmosphere, both Coleman individually and the team as a whole experience challenges and are actively working to make progress. After playing tennis for years prior, Coleman has some flaws in his swing. “My coach says I play too much like a tennis player, and that it’s a really bad thing if you play both tennis and squash,” he explains. He is working through this “learning curve” to transition into a more squash-specific style of play. Additionally, the team as a whole lost many valuable seniors from last year, and the remaining players have barely played in two years due to the pandemic break. Further, “this season we have a JV and a Varsity team for the first time, so you only get to practice three times a week. It’s harder when you go up against other teams, and you might not have had as much practice as them. But we still use our practices well,” Coleman confirms.

Asa Johnson ‘22, who is a first-time squash player this year, says that Coleman, as the top player on the team, has really helped introduce him to this new sport with open arms. “Overall, he has been a really wholesome and good teammate,” says Asa.

Though athletics have become quite important to him, Coleman does not necessarily consider himself an athlete, rather, “just someone who plays sports.” He decided not to consider squash or his other sports as possibilities for a future in college. He uses sports as “a hobby, a way to have fun, exercise, meet new people, and make new friends.” However, Coleman considers sports a factor of his identity because he spends such significant time participating in them “[over the course of] three seasons with practice almost every day.”

As a three varsity sport and twelve-season athlete, Coleman often has a lot to balance. Managing athletics with everything else on his plate has become part of his routine, as he is a person who “[doesn’t] really do well with free time. [He] just always [likes] having something to do after school.” Keeping busy can lead to some stressful periods, though. “Especially senior year… that was a rough time with sports, college, and just normal school work,” he recalls. However, now that college application season is largely done, he has been feeling more relaxed in recent weeks. 

In the classroom, Coleman is interested in STEM fields. His favorite class this year is computer science, which he has been looking forward to for a few years. “I am very excited to be taking it now, and I’m having a very good time,” he explains. He recalls really enjoying Biology class last year and now excitedly anticipates taking Engineering next semester. “Definitely STEM is my favorite area of study,” he states.

Coleman’s interests expand beyond science and squash as well. “I’ve been part of the chess club all four years. That’s something that I’ve continued from middle school – I’ve been playing for a very long time,” he says. 

As shown by his leadership, dedication, and lasting participation in his extracurricular activities, Coleman describes himself as passionate. “I also think of myself as a kind person. I try to treat everyone with respect and kindness – that is something that I really value,” he adds. Another trait that Coleman labels himself with is “friendly.” He is excited to bring his extroverted-ness to college and be completely surrounded by new people and communities. 

Math Teacher Herb Kerns, who is also Coleman’s advisor, describes his first impression of his advisee: “Even from day one as a ninth-grader… Coleman’s engagement, his enthusiasm, his ability to be the glue between different friend groups, have a positive attitude all the time, and jump in both feet into the community and engage everything he does is great… he brings a kindness and a friendship that has really made a big difference.”

His concluding advice to younger students and teammates is: “if you want to try something… just go for it. It will work out well!” Coleman himself is a product of this mindset, as his progress and career in squash have brought him great friendships, enjoyment, and satisfaction.