150, Lightweight, Sprint Football


Click on the Team Photos and the highlighted player’s names for additional material

The First Year of 150s is below.

Army 150 lb. Football 1st season – Spring-Fall 1957

Many Cadets had been outstanding high school football players, but because they were small, had no chance of playing football at West Point.

Meanwhile, there was an Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Association 150 pound Football League. Army was not in the League because Army Coach Earl “Red” Blaik didn’t want Army to have but one team – his. Navy, however, had been in the League since the start, and had won 9 of 11 championships.

Suddenly, in the Spring of 1957, at the end of our 2nd Class year, it was announced that Army would join the League, and field a team in the fall. Try-outs would take place over a 3-day period at the field next to Michie Stadium.

600 Cadets in the Classes of 1958, 1959, and 1960 signed up for the tryouts. 600! Soon, the big day arrived and we learned that the screeners would include Red Blaik, Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis, and Arnold Tucker – Army Greats, all of them. We thought, “looks like they’re serious about this.”

Doc Blanchard, Glenn Davis and Arnold Tucker returning to the Academy for the first time since Graduation. (Note probably not in 1957) Photo

After 3 days of every imaginable football test, 200 of us were selected to report for final tryouts 3 months later in September 1957. The summer flew by – summer trip, summer duty, and every day 200 Cadets looked forward to 150 pound football.

Finally, the big day arrived, and two hundred 150lb. hopefuls turned out to meet our new coach and try to make the team. Our new coach was Eric Tipton, an All-American Football player at Duke in the late thirties, a professional baseball player and coach, and a great leader. Coach Tipton had 2 weeks to cut the squad from 200 players to 48 men who could play both offense and defense, could make weigh-in at 154 pounds, learn plays, and play our first game. Tall order – the pressure was on.

At the end of the week, several – 58ers had made the cut. The starting team included Quarterback Ralph Wensinger (a ’58 classmate just turned back to ’59), Running Back Jude Thiebert (a track sprinter who was on the “big” Army team, but dropped “down” to play 150lbs), Center Brad Johnson (who was to be our team Captain), Left Guard Bill Shely, Left Tackle John Brinson, and Left End Dick Schonberger. So 1958 had 6 of 11 starters, and a large number of other ’58ers made the roster, as well.

Within a week, Coach Tipton had us ready. We played and won our first two games, against Columbia and Cornell, by big margins, and then went down to Annapolis to play our biggest challenge – the U S Naval Academy, the undisputed rulers of 150 lb. Football. We went down 3 days early, so we could get over the jitters before the game. The Middies gave us the treatment in their Mess Hall, but we laughed them off.

Finally, the game came. President Eisenhower in the stands. We fought it out with Navy for 3-1/2 quarters. We could move the ball, but just couldn’t score from inside their 20. They couldn’t move the ball, but had a good punter. Neither side risked a passing attack. Finally, with 4 minutes left in the game, Navy fumbled on their own 43-yard line. Our second team, our best defensive team, was on the field and RG Dick Welch recovered the fumble. There was a lengthy time-out as one of our teammates was carried off the field with torn knee ligaments. We promised him we’d score. Coach Tipton sent in the first team, including 6 1958ers – Ralph Wensinger at QB, Jude Theibert at RB, Brad Johnson at Center, Bill Shely at LG, John Brinson at LT, and Dick Schonberger at LE.

1957 Team

5-0-1 Beat Navy
League Champions

formerly at http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-1958/150team

Additional page –

https://forwhattheygave.com/2008/07/07/1957-150-pound-football-team/

As we went onto the field, we told Ralph, “Run it straight at ’em – no passes – we can beat ’em – they can’t stop us” – echoed by our whole team. And we ran it at them, knocking them back on their heels. Four yards, 5 yards, 4 yards – in 7 plays we were on the goal line with about a minute left. Ralph called a sneak – wedge blocking – and we pushed the very tough Navy line back over the goal line and Ralph plunged over.

Army 7 – Navy 0. On their last possession, Navy couldn’t move the ball. Time ran out. The game was over. It was a great night for us in Bancroft Hall coupled with a visit to the hospital to visit our wounded.

After we beat Penn handily, our over-confident team faced an excellent Princeton team who tied us 21 – 21. It was a huge disappointment. They had a great passing attack, and it was all we could do to hang on for a tie. Because of that tie, and because Rutgers was undefeated, we had to beat them to win the Championship. We went to New Bruswick and won 34-14.

Columbia, Cornell, Navy, Penn, Princeton, and Rutgers. The season was a great success. We not only were undefeated, and won the Eastern Intercollegiate Championship, but we beat NAVY! Through it all, our Classmate, Quarterback Ralph Wensinger was a rock. He was a super athlete, very competitive, never gave up, and loved football. We loved Ralph. Coach Tipton would go on to become the winningest coach in any sport at West Point.

Sadly, our great Quarterback, Ralph Wensinger, would be killed in Vietnam. None of us will ever forget him.

John Brinson, C-2, 1958

1958 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1959 Team

5-1 Lost to Navy

1960 Team

5-1 Lost to Navy

1961 Team

5-1 Lost to Navy

A Member of the Class of 62 Gave 26 Years to the 150s

1962 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1963 Team

2-3 Lost to Navy

1964 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1965 Team

5-1 Lost to Navy

1966 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1967 Team

4-2 Lost to Navy

1968 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1969 Team

4-2 Lost to Navy

1970 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1971 Team

5-1 Beat Navy
Co-Champions with Navy

1972 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1973 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1974 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1975 Team

4-2 Beat Navy

1976 Team

6-0 Beat Navy

League Champions

1977 Team

3-2 Lost to Navy

1978 Team

3-2 Lost to Navy

1979 Team

4-1 Beat Navy
Co-Champions with Navy

1980 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1981 Team

4-1 Lost to Navy

1982 Team

3-2 Lost to Navy

1983 Team

8-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1984 Team

5-2 Lost to Navy but then Beat Navy 52-0 in the Antracite Bowl
Co-Champion Navy & Cornell

1985 Team

5-2 Lost to Navy

1986 Team

5-2 Beat Navy
Co-Champion with Navy & Cornell

1987 Team

5-2 Beat Navy
Co-Champion with Navy

1988 Team

6-1 Lost to Navy
League Champions

1989 Team

5-0-1 Beat Navy
Co-Champion with Princeton

1990 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1991 Team

5-0-1 Tied Navy

1992 Team

4-3 Lost to Navy

1993 Team

5-2 Beat Navy

1994 Team

6-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

1995 Team

6-1 Lost to Navy

1996 Team

6-1 Beat Navy
Co-Champions with Navy & Penn

1997 Team

5-2 Lost to Navy

1998 Team

5-1 Beat Navy
Co-Champions with Penn

1999 Team

5-1 Beat Navy

2000 Team

6-1 Beat Navy Twice

2001 Team

5-1 Lost to Navy

2002 Team

4-2 Lost to Navy

2003 Team

5-1 Beat Navy

2004 Team

4-3 Lost to Navy

2005 Team

4-3 Lost to Navy

2006 Team

3-3 Lost to Navy

2007 Team

2-5 Lost to Navy

Need Photo

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2008 Team

2-5 Lost to Navy

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2009 Team

6-1 Lost to Navy

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2010 Team

5-1 Beat Navy
Co-Champions with Penn

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2011 Team

5-2 Lost to Navy

Need Photo

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2012 Team

7-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

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2013 Team

7-0 Beat Navy
League Champions

Need Photo

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October 2008 – – 150, Lightweight, Sprint 51st Reunion

old – http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-2008/reunion

— Kevin Anderson – Director of Athletics

Pete Dawkins, ’59 – too big to play 150

— “Jude Thiebert”, ’58 – #43 Halfback

— “Bill Shely”, ’58 – #67 Left Guard

Dick Schonberger, ’58 – #87 Left End

Brad Johnson, ’58 – #53 Center and Team Captain

John Brinson, ’58 – #73 Left Tackle

Jim Kays, ’62 150 player, Asst. Coach 3 years and 150 OIC for 19 years

— “Buster Hagenbeck”, 150 player and current USMA Superintendent

— Not shown: Ralph Wensinger, ’59 (turned back form ’58) – #10 Quarterback in ’57 and ’58, KIA Vietnam

—————————————————————-

Old site 150 pages

old – http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-1959/150

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old – http://forwhattheygaveonsaturdayafternoon.com/wp-2007/150

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