Tag Archives: Wrestling

Doug Ward


Dorian Anderson


“Selected for induction into the Army Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012…honorees will be officially inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 28. A special plaque unveiling ceremony will be held in the Kenna Hall of Army Sports inside Kimsey Athletic Center, with the formal black-tie Hall of Fame Induction Banquet set for Eisenhower Hall later that evening. The group will also be recognized during Army’s football game against Stony Brook the next day at Michie Stadium with a special photograph and autograph session planned on Black Knights Alley prior to the contest.

Anderson, a 1975 graduate, earned two varsity letters in both sprint football and wrestling and was the first sprint football player to take home the prestigious Army Athletic Association award.

On the football field, Anderson earned varsity letters twice. As a senior, he led the team with 435 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. He averaged nine yards per carry and also caught a touchdown pass. During his three seasons with the team, Army went 18-0 and beat Navy by scores of 41-0, 27-24 and 28-12.

As a member of the wrestling team, Anderson won four dual matches in both his sophomore and senior seasons.

A fifth-place finisher at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships in 1974, Anderson also served as a regimental commander within the Corps of Cadets. He retired from the military with the rank of Major General. After serving as Commanding General, U.S. Army Human Resources Command…”


Selection of Al Rushatz for the Army Sports Hall of Fame

Al’s Nomination Letter written by Dave Phillips is at Al Rushatz

Wrestling Articles

Jim Heldman

Jim was on the Wrestling and Track Teams during his Plebe Year. During his last two years he was on the Cadet Ski Team and was Captain of the Team during his First Class Year.

Continue reading

Gus Zenker

I was lucky enough to have wrestled in Los Gatos (California) High School for three years and thus had enough experience to be picked up for Plebe Wrestling during Beast Barracks Corps Squad Screening. I typically weighed about 183 lbs, but had great difficulty making the 177 lb. Weight class. (In fact I can’t remember ever making it!) Not to worry, though, because we all know who made that 177 lb weight: Al Rushatz.

Continue reading

Jerry Lodge

Army Guard, Army Fullback, Army Wrestler
See 1953 Football Team

Homer Keifer

Army End – Class of 1920 – He played with Earl Blaik who later became Army’s Ledgendary Football Coach.

Homer won both the Heavy Weight Boxing and Wrestling Academy Championships on the same day.

Jerry Weisensell

Army Navy 1961 – 1962 Winter Sports

Gymnastics is Eastern Conference Champion and Army over Navy in Basketball, Wrestling, Gymnastics, Track & Field, Squash and Pistol while losing only Rifle and Swimming.

Buzz Kriesel

2 Army A’s 167 Pounds Army Wrestling

Wrestling 1962

Al Rushatz – Team Captain – 177 Pound – All American

Denny Benchoff against Pitt – 1961

Al Ruhatz against against Pitt – 1961

Dale against against Lehigh – 1961

Buzzy Kriesel

Al recognized for his All American Status

Coach Alitz and Al

Al McElhose

Dale Kuhns

Denny Benchoff

Coach Alitz and Mike Natvig – National Champ 1962 & 1963 at 147 Photo is 1963

Phil Burns

Joe Sayers

GuZ’ (Gus Zenker) West Point Wrestling (and Other Athletic) Reminiscences

I write this for the athletes from the West Point Class of ’62 more to – “fill the slot” (so that others will not have to try) than for any other reason.

I was lucky enough to have wrestled in Los Gatos (California) High School for three years and thus had enough experience to be picked up for Plebe Wrestling during Beast Barracks Corps Squad Screening. I typically weighed about 183 lbs, but had great difficulty making the 177 lb. Weight class. (In fact I can’t remember ever making it!) Not to worry, though, because we all know who made that 177 lb weight: Al Rushatz.

Thus, I was usually competing for the 191 lb. Class, against others such as Buzz Kriesel, who also lost out to Al in the wrestle-offs, to see who would compete at 167 and 177. I had a few pounds on all the heavier “also-rans”, so even if I didn’t get to wrestle 191s, there was always Unlimited.

Most of the Plebe matches (and even the JV matches in later years) usually came down to the last (Unlimited) match of the meet to decide which team would win. The Army Team was usually ahead by a few points going into the last match, so my role in wrestling in the last match of the day was to try not to lose it for the team. In fact one of the few coaching instruction that I received from the Sainted Coach Leroy Alitz before setting out on the mat for a match was, “Zenker, don’t get pinned.” (A loss by decision, 3 points, would have preserved the match. But, if I were pinned, 5 points for the other team would have lost it!)

Of course, the best thing about being a barely marginal wrestler was Corps Squad Tables, particularly during Plebe Year, of course. The next best thing was wrestling Unlimited and being the only guy on the ten-man table who was not cutting weight. Two or more steaks, all the dessert I wanted, etc. Sometimes my table mates, who couldn’t eat anything anyway, would feed me by throwing food in the general direction of my mouth – Ah, the “Animals” in the Corps Squad Area! Coach Alitz actually encouraged me to gain weight, and I did for a time get up to 195 lbs., but at that weight lost what little speed I had at normal weight.

My Plebe and JV experiences at the heavier weight classes (191 and Unlimited) taught me that my chances were better at Unlimited. Those that wrestled at 191 were usually good athletes: Typically football players who, although they had limited wrestling experience, were quick and strong. (An experienced 191 opponent was always my biggest challenge and I seldom won in that matchup – put seldom if ever got pinned.) On the other hand, many of the guys who wrestled Unlimited from other schools were basically slobs with few skills and less speed than I. The secret in these matches was not to let these overweight guys ride you! I sometimes won those matches by a 1-point escape from the “down position”.

Bottom line: I did win my Class Numerals Plebe year, but never did get the JV award and never wrestled on the A Team. I didn’t wrestle Firstie Year – and Coach Alitz didn’t try to persuade me to stay on the team!

One last comment on my athletic (and leadership) abilities at West Point. Yearling Spring the Intramurals were listed with what I thought had to me a mistake: I was Canoe Racing Coach. Now this was a new sport initiated that year and no one wanted it, so I was ranked into it with a few plebes. The “sport” itself was a simple concept: Two 2-man teams in a relay; start with the (70 lb.) canoe in the water by the “dance hall” (can’t remember the name) at Lake Popolopen, paddle like hell for a quarter mile, portage for 200 meters, back in the water and paddle back to the beach, short portage back to the start point where the second team would repeat. It definitely was a put-out!. But, the most difficult part was that the coach had to transport his team to and from Popolopen by 2-ton truck and turn in the truck at the motor pool (way up by the laundry) afterward. On a P-Rade afternoon, getting back to the barracks area in time for parade was the true “put out.”

On the mats of wrestling past are born those cauliflower ears, mat burns, and sore knees which in other times will mark one forever.

Denny Lenhart

Known as the Bear at the Academy

Mike Jones

Paul & Sunny Jones

Paul Mike Jones 4 years of Wrestling Class Numerals and Monogram Yearling Year


Army Wrestling 21st Century


Army Wrestling.jpg

We took each of our 3 years of eligibility.  Since 1962, after 45 years Army won again.  This is the 2d Victory since our 3 year run.

Bob Ord

LTG.png  Bob & Gail Ord   120px-35th_Infantry_Regiment_DUI.jpg P116.jpg  100px-7th_Infantry_Division_SSI_(1973-2015).svg.png 25th Inf.jpeg
Football, Wrestling, Honor Committee. CoCO 35th Inf, 25th Div RVN, MACV, MILPERCEN, CO 1st Bde 7th Div, ODCSPER, CS CFA Korea, ADC 7th Div, CG PERSCOM, CG 25th Inf Div, CG USARPAC, Dean School of Intl Grad Studies.

Football, Wrestling, Track, injured Cow Year. Monogram in Football Yearling Year.

75 Bill Yost, 73 Bob Odd, 11 Pete King, 45 George Kirschenbauer, 58 Dick Buckner, 65 Harry Miller, 64 Al Vanderbush, 56 Ozzie Oswandel, 40 Russ DeVries, 94 Bob DeVries, 61 Jerry Clements

1960-1961 Wrestling

Warren Miller 61


Mike Natvig — National Champion in 1961 & 1962 at 147 Pounds

(no photo at present)

Al Rushatz 62

177 Pounds

Denny Benchoff 62

Dale Kuhns 62 Unlimited

Robbie Vannamen 63

Al McElhose 62

Ray Nickla 63

191 Pounds

Gary Flack 61

Buzzy Kriesel 62

167 Pounds

Harry Miller 61

Mike Ekman 61

Phil Burns 62

123 pounds

Gus Fishburne

awaiting data

1959-1960 Wrestling Team

Coach Alitz & Team Captain Ray Andrews 60

Al Rushatz 62

Dale Kuhns 62

Dale Kuhns 62

Bob Davidson 60

Bob Protzman 61

Denny Benchoff 62

Warren Glenn 60

Ed Strasbourger 60

Gary Flack 61

Buzzy Kriesel 62

Warren Miller 61

Harry Miller 61

Phil Burns 62