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Wrestlers Green, Paulekas to be inducted into Army Sports Hall of Fame

Two legendary West Point wrestlers -- John Green (left), and Al Pauleskas -- will be welcomed into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2014
Two legendary West Point wrestlers -- John Green (left), and Al Pauleskas -- will be welcomed into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2014
Photos courtesy of the 1946 Howitzer and 1953 Howitzer Army yearbooks, used with permission

John Green, 1940s wrestling team captain, and Al Paulekas, West Point’s first NCAA All-American matman, are among the ten members of the Army Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2014, Army Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Boo Corrigan announced Friday.

John Frederick Green was a standout in both wrestling and football in the 1940s. A member of the Class of 1946, Green was wrestling team captain that year, as well as heavyweight finalist at the 1946 EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) championships.

Green also made a name for himself as an offensive lineman, helping to “open holes for Heisman Trophy winners Felix “Doc” Blanchard and Glenn Davis,” according to the West Point press statement. The Shelbyville, Ky. native was a three-time letterwinner, a two-time All-America selection, and also captained the football team as a senior. In 1989 was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.

Alfred Esper Paulekas collected five varsity letters in wrestling and football prior to his graduation in 1953. A three-time NCAA wrestling championships qualifier, Paulekas owns the distinction of being West Point’s first NCAA All-American in wrestling, as a runner-up in the 177-pound finals at the 1953 NCAAs hosted by Penn State. A product of Pennsylvania’s Shenango Valley, Paulekas was a two-time EIWA champ, and was undefeated in dual meets while at West Point. After graduation, Paulekas won the gold medal at the 1955 Pan American Games.

Beyond the mat, Paulekas earned two varsity letters in football, serving as team captain his senior year.

In addition to Green and Paulekas, other West Point graduates announced for the 2014 Army Sports Hall of Fame class include rifleman Chris Abalo, women's swimming national champion Jennifer Grzbek, boxer Donald Hull, men's basketball star Jim Oxley, track and field and cross country athlete Bill Straub, men's soccer star Tom Tyree, Dr. John Feagin, and former Superintendent Gar Davidson.

Encompassing eight sports, this Class of 2014 is the 11th to be welcomed into the Army Sports Hall of Fame. It brings the total number of inductees to 109.

"This class is a testament to the great tradition of athletics Army West Point," said Corrigan. "National champions, All-Americans and incredible athletes from eight sports are being honored. I am looking forward to meeting some of these great individuals as they take their proper place in our hall of fame."