Squash

The 1961 – 1962 Squash Team had four members from the 62 Class that lettered. Don Voss for 3 years, “Jim Peterson” for 3 years, Jim McQuillen for two years and “Rich Carlson” an Army A Firstie Year.

Squash Team Captain Firstie Year

It was probably the only sport, with a consistent winning record, where no one on the team had ever played the game before going to West Point. The coach recruited Tennis players along with guys that were good athletes that wanted a chance to play a varsity sport. Naturally as a plebe there was the additional motivation of wanting to sit on a training table.

A match consisted of nine individual singles matches and the winning team had to win five or more of the individual matches. Each individual match was determined by the best three out of five 15 points sets/games. On the individual matches that went more than three games conditioning played a big part and was one of the reasons we were able to beat more skilled and experienced players.

Our record for the 1961 – 1962 season was 8 and 5 with the last win being a 6 to 3 win over Navy for the only Squash Victory over Navy in our four years at the Academy. However we were never able to beat Harvard, Yale or Princeton which were loaded with All Americans and people who had been playing the game since they were little kids. Desire and conditioning only went so far.

Don Voss was our best player. He played number one for two years and made the All American Team in 61 and 62. Jim McQuillen played in the 7th position Cow Year but moved up to the number two position Firstie Year. Jim was edged out at the end of the year by a Yearling named “Ritchie Oehrlein”.

Ritchie was on the All American Team in 1964. In 2007 he was inducted into the West Point Sports Hall of Fame for both Squash and Tennis along with his younger brother “Walter Oehrlein” Class of 1965, who won the NCAA squash singles championship in 1965.

“Jim Peterson” played in the 4th or 5th position for most of our Cow and First Class Year and had several critical victories including a key win over Navy. Jim Captained the tennis team our First Class year.

Rich Carlson alternated between the sixth and seventh slot on the team and was a major contributor to our winning record.

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