MEDFORD - The Tufts University men's squash team has opened their 2017-18 season with a 3-2 record, including a 7-2 NESCAC win over Wesleyan University to conclude their first semester of action on December 2. The Jumbos enjoyed a successful 14-10 season last year and are looking to take another step in the program's progress this season.
The team is boosted by the arrival of new head coach Joe Raho, who comes to Tufts from the Ivy League where he was a men's and women's assistant at Brown. Both of the Bears' programs were ranked among the College Squash Association (CSA) top 20 throughout Raho's tenure including a #11 ranking by the women and a #19 finish by the men for 2016-17 season.
During the 2017-18 season Coach Raho will be looking for junior co-captain Brett Raskopf to help lead the way for a young Jumbos team. Raskopf has started for the Jumbos since his freshman season, holding down the #3 spot primarily over the past two years. From New York City, Raskopf is an economics major at Tufts. He spent the summer working an an Incoming Sales and Trading Analyst at HSBC Global Banking and Markets.
Raskopf recently took some time to answer a few questions from GoTuftsJumbos.com about himself and the team ...
What are the team's goals this season?
BR - The main team goal is to get wins against our NESCAC rivals, who include Wesleyan, Connecticut College, Bowdoin, and Hamilton. We also want to finish top 25 in the national rankings at the end of the season. Off court, we want to foster a culture where players feel as if being on the squash team is like being a part of a family. It is most important to me that the players always feel proud and excited to be a part of Tufts Squash.
How has the team adapted to a new head coach this season?
We love the new coach. Coach Raho is energetic, attentive, accountable, and has a really impressive squash background. He motivates us to work hard in practice and to operate as a team rather than as individuals. He has also implemented a new practice regimen in which we are working a lot harder, but are also getting in better shape both technically, physically, and mentally.
What is your greatest squash memory thus far in your career?
My greatest memory is probably the Hamilton match this season. At least 20 guys from my fraternity came to the match shirtless with my name painted on their chests. My parents and little brother were there as well. They were screaming every point, pounding on the back glass, and had the place going crazy. I played some of the best squash of my life and won the match 3-0. It was such a special feeling getting to play in front of my best friends and my family, and to win made the day so much better.
Other than playing squash, what are your hobbies?
I am a huge New York Knicks fan, listen to a lot of hip-hop/R&B, follow news about monetary policy, and go to Dunkin' Donuts every day without failure.
Who are the biggest role models in your life?
My biggest role model is probably my dad, who has gotten up at 5:30 a.m. every day for the last 40 years to exercise before going to work. He is really dedicated to his fitness, family, and work, and I aspire to follow in his footsteps. My mom is my other role model, as she is a lifelong entrepreneur and I admire her determined, creative spirit.
What is the best praise or advice you've ever received?
The best piece of advice I have ever received is from my mom, who said, "Don't ask, don't get." To me, the phrase means that good things do not come to those who wait. It takes courage and confidence to go out there and achieve your goals.
What is the craziest thing on your bucket list?
My biggest goal on my bucket list is to visit every NBA arena. I am fascinated by the different markets that support NBA basketball teams and fan experiences that teams present. It would also be a great way to see the country. I have only been to the Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and LA Lakers, so I have a long way to go!
Where would you go on your dream vacation? Why?
On a dream vacation I would go to Las Vegas with my best friends. I don't need to explain why!
What are your plans or dreams after you graduate?
I am doing an internship in banking this summer, so I hope to continue that path. I want to work in something like Sales/Trading or Wealth Management, where I can both be involved with the financial markets, but also serve in a team-oriented and interpersonal role. It would be my dream to live in New York City for most of, if not the rest of my life. I have proudly lived there for all 20 years of my life and hope to continue doing so!
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