Thursday, May 17, 2012


As the squash program continues to grow, it is only logical that the overall standard improves as well. It certainly helps however, that new players jumping on board are already adept at the sport. What stands out when watching this member on court is his smoothness with both his footwork and swing which tells me he’s been wielding a racquet for quite a while.


The Squash Joint (TSJ): You’re South African. Is squash your number one sport (or would it be rugby?) Tell us how you got started with squash.

I don't really have a # 1 sport as I am fond of so many but Squash is certainly one of my favorites. I started playing when I was 9, I was playing cricket in the backyard of my friends house when his mother asked if we would like to go with her to the squash club to play. I played with my mate Barry and I was hooked, I went on to play for my province/state a year or 2 later.

TSJ: I presume you played rugby too. Which position did you play and how dirty does it really get in the scrums? Any intriguing stories? How did you get involved in coaching a Detroit rugby team?

I love Rugby, it is a beautiful game although commonly referred to as a hooligans game played by gentlemen. I played # 10 or fly-half but tried many of the 15 positions. I don’t like to think of Rugby as dirty but it can get that way from time to time. I thought I was going to lose my eye once, I almost lost my front tooth, broke my nose many times and have injured numerous muscles during a lengthy career. I have also been on the end of a few random punches from players who cannot take their aggression out in the correct manner - there are plenty of legitimate opportunities for applying contact. I still love the game! I now coach the Detroit Tradesmen RFC, a member at the DAC actually connected me with them a few months ago. They are a great bunch of gentlemen with the potential to be really competitive in the D1 national championship.

TSJ: When did you move to the US? How different is life here compared to your homeland?

I moved to the USA in June 2008. I lived in Northern California for 3 and a bit years before moving to Michigan in November 2011. Life for me is not that different. The biggest things would be the language and the sports - in South Africa I would always hear the different African languages, we have 13, but most commonly I would here Afrikaans (Dutch dialect), Xhosa and Zulu, along with English of course. The major sports in RSA are Cricket, Rugby and Soccer and none of these 3 are very big here in the USA. I have found that people are the same all over the world, well the parts of the world that I have been lucky enough to visit.

TSJ: What part of your squash game needs the most improvement?

My drop shots, I get too caught up in hitting the ball hard and forget about the touches up front.

TSJ: What is your biggest pet peeve?

None really but littering tweaks me

TSJ: Any thoughts on returning to South Africa? What three things do you miss the most?

Hopefully one day I will be able to spend more time down there. My wife, Alexis, and I do talk about it but our life is here now. I miss my family, old friends and Cape Town

TSJ: You turn into a “fly-on-the-wall” and have the opportunity to listen in to one conversation unnoticed. Which conversation between which two people in the world would you like to listen to?

Nelson Mandela and....

TSJ: What do you do for a living?

I work for K+S Services; we are an industrial repair business supporting many fine manufacturing companies around the world. I manage Michigan sales.

TSJ: From “fly-on-the-wall” you turn into a dog. A Pit Bull. But you can choose who your owner will be from any famous Hollywood actor. Who do you want to be pampered by?

I have no idea.

TSJ: Tell us your least favorite…
a)      Sports star… have none
b)      Vegetable… veggies are all good
c)       Style of squash opponent… I like the variety
d)      Reality show (actually, you can pick three here)… I don’t watch any reality shows
e)      Country you’ve visited… I’ve loved every country I have been to
f)       Song that gets stuck in your head… so many find their way in but cannot think of one I dislike

TSJ: What’s the one item in your fridge that you always have to have a supply of?

Tomato Sauce - I love ketchup

TSJ: To finish with a bang, the final question has the intention to make you blush a little. Just so we can cover our mouths and snicker at your expense. You no doubt had some big nights out with the rugby lads. What was the worst state of inebriation you were in, and what did you do?

Funny you should ask: I was kindly dropped at home after a big night out with the team after an away game which we won, this was in Mill Valley, CA about 2 years ago. The team bus had stopped too many times on the way home and I was hammered. Alexis was out for the night and if I had simply made it to bed all would be forgotten, instead I fell asleep in the doorway after opening the front door and when Lexi got home she almost fell over me. After waking up from the disappointed Mrs. asking me to move I followed her up the outside stairs to try and apologize for my behavior - I proceeded to make it up 3 or 4 stairs and fall into the flower bed and roll down the hill, we lived on a hill side and we had a drop off of about 7/8 feet to our porch from upstairs, and I rolled right over the flower bed and down 8 feet onto the concrete floor. It hurt a little at the time but the next day I could not get out of bed. Lexi was not sympathetic and all I really remembered was the final swig of Jack Daniels, uncontrollable rolling and a bump. This won't ever happen again. Ucha cha!

We appreciate Jed’s time and candor. It seems he doesn’t dislike anything; however I bet I may get a negative reaction if I bring up how fantastic the Wallabies are… no? Maybe at least a frown…? (The Wallabies are the Australian National Rugby Team.) Thankfully, he chose the DAC as his squash home in Detroit as it will be fun to watch him push the top players of the club consistently, plus it will be nice to have him represent us.

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