Cambridge, MA— The 2017 Skillman Award was presented to University of Rochester’s Ryosei Kobayashi.
Presented annually since 1983, the Skillman Award is given to a senior men’s squash player who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during his entire college career. Candidates are evaluated for their on-court poise and demeanor; skill level and ability in the game of squash; team play; contributions to intercollegiate squash; leadership; and cooperation with players, coaches, and tournament officials.
The award is named for former Yale head coach John Skillman, who led the Bulldogs for over forty years. Skillman was inducted into the Men’s College Squash Hall of Fame in 1990. This year’s award was presented at the 2017 Men’s College Squash Association National Team Championships, which were hosted by Harvard University.
During his freshman season, Kobayashi was part of team that concluded the season ranked 7th in the nation. Kobayashi captained the Yellowjackets during his junior and senior campaigns. He led the Yellowjackets to the Potter Cup (A Division) final and a season-ending ranking of #2 in the nation during his junior season. As a senior, Kobayashi began the season by capturing the Price-Bullington Invitational, a preseason individual tournament. As his senior season progressed, Rochester was ranked as high as #1 in the nation.
According to Rochester head coach Martin Heath, “Ryo has provided strong leadership as a two-time captain, emphasizing discipline, focus and efficiency. It worked. Ryo is also a natural leader due to his confidence, academic ability, clutch performances, and easy-going manner.”
Kobayashi was named a First Team All-American by the Men’s College Squash Association in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Teammate Mario Yanez and Kobayashi are the only Yellowjackets to be named to four First Team All-American squads.
In Liberty League Conference play, Kobayashi was four-time All-League team member. In addition, the business major was a three-time member of the Liberty League’s All-Academic squad.
Kobayashi has numerous successes at the CSA Individual Championships. As a sophomore, he made it to the semifinals and as a junior he made it to the finals.
Kobayashi concludes his collegiate career with a 68-16 record, which places him second on the University of Rochester’s all-time wins list.