Volume 90, Issue 72

Friday, January 31, 1997

big stick


Squash captain not singled out

By Brendan Howe
Gazette Staff

The Western men's squash team is preparing for its 14th consecutive OUAA championship as a unit but this weekend in Toronto, during the provincial singles championship, it will be every man for himself and all will be looking for the title – the Molson Trophy – which Mustang captain Rob Wilson still owns.

In four years at Western, Wilson has been recognized as an OUAA all-star throughout his collegiate career. He has managed to win the OUAA squash singles title two of the last three years – defeated only in his second year by ex-Mustang Mike Leckie, who was runner-up to Wilson last year. A native of Sarnia, Ont., Wilson was named the team's most valuable player in 1996, all while keeping his marks high enough to apply to med school.

In his second year as captain of the team, Wilson has the respect of the team and other players throughout the OUAA and NCAA. Last season, with Wilson as top player, the Mustangs finished fifth in the NCAA, continuing a strong presence south of the border as Canada's best university team.

"He's a good competitor and a great sportsman on the court," Western coach Jack Fairs said.

Currently a science student, Wilson turned down the chance to go professional in favour of attending Western. With ambitions of further education at the University of Calgary or the University of Alberta for medicine, coming to Western was crucial for developing both his academic and athletic ability.

"There's not a much better combination than between school and athletics," Wilson said. "You need some way to let out stress and squash is it."

Travelling to Hong Kong in 1992 at 17-years old as part of the second-place Canadian junior squash team, Wilson brings international competition experience to the team. He took this experience with him as the team travelled to Cornell University in New York this past weekend to continue Western's NCAA competition. Playing against the likes of Yale and Brown, Wilson and the Mustangs came home at the end of the weekend after winning all five matches they played.

Last year's third-place OUAA singles player, Peter Guildenhuys, is confident the Western captain will have a strong finish.

"Rob's intending to win," Guildenhuys said. "He should win it."

After the singles championship tomorrow the team will look ahead to the OUAA team finals next Friday at McMaster.

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

Copyright The Gazette 1997