Volume 90, Issue 63

Thursday, January 16, 1997



Untarnished squash team harvest confidence

By Michael Jacobs
Gazette Staff

Seven up and seven down. The Mustang men's squash squad aims to cultivate its undefeated record this weekend. Crossover competition awaits the blue sphere-chasers on Saturday at Alumni Hall. The Mustangs will swing against fresh opposition from pristine divisions.

Coach Jack Fairs maintains his exuberant young team has remained level-headed throughout this season and approaches its rivals with the utmost respect.

"We know the University of Toronto and Queen's are strong. We have a young team, but we're not over-confident," Fairs commented.

He commenced his illustrious tenure as a coach at Western almost 35 years ago, gripping the reigns when Western squash sipped champagne for the first time in the school's history.

The current edition Fairs has moulded appears to be destined for immortality. "There are too many guys scrapping and trying to develop their games for us to be over-confident," Fairs enthused. "We have quality and depth. The top of our lineup is stacked with outstanding personnel"

NCAA antagonists are a hurdle on the squash schedule. The Mustangs crossed the border to serve aces against Cornell earlier in the year and emerged victorious.

"Cornell had been recruiting top Swedes, so we thought they might be able to beat us," Fairs admitted. When the ball bruised the wall black and blue for the final time the scorekeepers recorded Mustangs 7, Red Raiders 2.

Fairs conditions his group of players in daily practices and preaches the fundamentals of squash. "Squash players constantly have to develop their racquet skills and practice on not being vulnerable. The essence of the game is ball control."

Two players that continue to provide heat for the fire that burns are Marcus Templer and Andrew Bracht. Templer applied his skills on a U.S. intercollegiate team last year and figures to be a team cornerstone. Bracht is a sophomore who "has a great control game and strong racquet work."

The dynamic freshmen duo of Eric Zaremba and Richard Yendell has sparkled with streaks of brilliance on the courts. Recruiting both of these racqueteers from their outstanding Canadian junior squash player status has complemented the veteran savvy possessed by OUAA and NCAA all-star Rob Wilson – Western's captain.

Seven up and seven down. Crossover your fingers and hope the team ripens and doesn't fizzle.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca