It is a difficult decision to choose to stray from the typical high school path and attend The Island School for a semester. It is especially difficult when you are a top-performing athlete, like Will Cembalest (S’14). Will is a highly competitive squash player and although taking 4 months off of playing the sport may be seen by some as a disadvantage, Will would argue quite the opposite. In fact, he attributed his time at The Island School, and specifically training for the half marathon, to his recent success at a high-level squash tournament last week.
Will Cembalest, S'14 (right) and his coach (left)

“I think that taking time off really helped me a lot because it improved my fitness and helped me become mentally tougher,” Cembalest said. “Training for that half marathon is hard work not only physically, but mentally as well. Ultimately, I feel that it’s the biggest reason why I’m playing so well right now.”

Before going to the Island School Will was generally ranked in the top 30-40 in his age group. After using the mental and physical skills he took away from The Island School, Will improved his training and his ability to focus during tough competitions. Will is now ranked #9 in the country for boys under 17–his highest ranking ever. 

Congratulations, Will! We’re rooting for you as you continue to climb to the top of the squash rankings!