Voorhees High School Wrestling

According to his Football Coach Jerry Devisser, “He was a pure football player who could have played any position.  He was a kid who would put on a helmet and shoulder pads, and it was just like he was born to play football.”  As a two-year starter at fullback and a three-year starter at linebacker, the Viking football program got a lot of mileage out of Walt Rittger, and not once did he disappoint.  He didn’t just play football, he understood football.  His size, speed, and athleticism made him a candidate for playing any position on the field, but his understanding of the game made him a legitimate threat no matter where he lined up.  It was that consistency and accountability that his teammates and coaches relied on throughout his career; no matter what the situation, knowing Walt Rittger was on the field was a saving grace.

Walt stepped in at linebacker two games into his sophomore season and started every game thereafter until the state championship in his senior year.  In that time, he never failed to deliver.  In his three years at linebacker, he displayed an incredible versatility while recording over two hundred career tackles; he could blitz, chase down ball carriers, play a zone, cover a man, and he could do it all from any alignment.  His combination of explosiveness and athleticism at fullback added a new dimension to the Viking offensive scheme; Walt had the ability to take a simple dive play and turn it into a 50-yard touchdown.  In his two years of carrying the football, he amassed over 1500 yards rushing.  On special teams, Walt returned kickoffs and punts as a junior and senior, and his 14.7 average punt return in 1995 is a Voorhees single-season record.  His reliability was a cornerstone for the 1995 Voorhees State Championship Football Team.  As a captain and veteran two-way starter, the coaching staff counted on Walt to deliver a workman-like performance every game; he understood, acknowledged, and delivered on each occasion.

Walt Rittger continued his consistency and dominance on the wrestling mat.  In his three-year varsity career, he racked up a 63-14 record; his winning percentage of 82 ranks in the top fifteen of Voorhees Wrestling history.  However, more important than his win-loss record was the percentage at which he pinned his opponents.  An impressive 70% of Walt’s wins as a Viking was by way of pin.  He was a strong, hard-nosed wrestler, and he was a pinner.  He could pin anybody.  He was a three-time district place-winner at 171 pounds, winning the weight class as a senior.  He qualified for the New Jersey State Tournament twice by placing third in the regions in 1995 and first in 1996.

Walt’s accountability and attention to detail made him a perfect fit for the military.  Upon graduating Voorhees, Walt entered the United States Military Academy at West Point where he played football all four years earning two varsity letters.  He graduated as an officer.