Volume 92, Issue 51

Thursday, December 3, 1998

shifting alignment


One title not enough for multi-varsity star

Dipesh Mistry/Gazette
I CAN DO THIS WITH A SOCCER BALL TOO. Two-sport athlete Richard Yendell just off a CIAU soccer title is expecting a big year on the courts as well.


Gazette Staff

For double-varsity athlete Richard Yendell, one championship trophy is not enough.

Yendell was a member of the Western Mustang soccer team, which won the CIAU championship in mid-November. He is also this year's co-captain of the Mustang squash club and thinks an Ontario title, the highest accomplishment in university squash, is not out of the question.

The squash team has had an illustrious 15 years atop Ontario University Athletics, winning the title every year since 1983. This year the club has had a bit of pressure added with the departure of their top three players to graduation.

Yendell acknowledged the club lacks a top gun but said that based on what he has seen, the team is a lot stronger than in past years.

"We might not have a big No. 1 guy but based on how keen the guys have been, we have incredible depth right down the roster," he said.

According to the five-foot-11 Yendell, balancing soccer, squash and his studies was tough last year, but based on his success so far, it appears effective time management has made the busy schedule more manageable. Yendell is hoping to be accepted into the Ivey School of Business after this year.

"I had some trouble keeping things in order last year but that was just because I wasn't doing any work," Yendell said.

Men's squash coach Jack Fairs said Yendell brings a lot to the court because of his incredible physical condition, which is a product of his soccer training.

"His mobility and quickness are his greatest strengths," Fairs said. "He worked so hard during the soccer season and his fitness level is incredible which is critical in squash."

Due to his commitment with the soccer team, Yendell has missed a number of the early season practices and all the tournaments. However, both Fairs and the other members on the team are well aware it has nothing to do with his lack of commitment.

In looking for a weakness in his game, Yendell described his lack of playing as his biggest weakness. He has only been able to get out about twice a week but is hoping his soccer training will benefit his game.

Erik Zaremba, fellow co-captain and long time friend, said that through the years the two squash fanatics have played in some very hard-fought matches. "We have had some classic battles through the junior ranks which have made us better players," he said.

The two first met in 1986 for the third or fourth spot in the Ontario Junior championships when they were nine. Yendell was proud to point out he won 3-1.

The Mustangs will not be taking to the court until the second weekend in January which will prolong Yendell's return. However, he is quite confident about his chances of going undefeated and feels that the individual title is well within reach. "I feel that I am clearly [among] the eight capable of winning a title."

Currently the Mustangs sit atop the OUA and have yet to be defeated.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998