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Original Issue



HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS: In this loose-knit conference stretching from Morgantown, W. Va. to Charleston, S.C., a champion should emerge at last because the two top teams, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, play each other for the first time since 1953. In the second section of the Southern Conference—classified only as contenders—can be found George Washington, VMI, Furman and Richmond.

There are two new head coaches: Milton Drewer, aide at Richmond last year, has moved to William and Mary; Eddie Teague, assistant to Jim Tatum at North Carolina and Maryland, has taken over at The Citadel.

Speed to burn, two experienced quarterbacks in Jim Lugar and Billie Cranwell, and End Carroll Dale keynote the Virginia Tech squad. West Virginia will have experienced depth and power. The Mountaineers' improvement will be due to better blocking in the line, improved quarterbacking and valuable additions to the halfback positions.

At VMI the squad strength is vastly improved with lettermen returning at every position and excellent speed at the halfback positions. If Tech and West Virginia slip, the Keydets could be definite threats.

Charleston, S.C.

COLORS: Blue and white
1956 RECORD: Won 3, lost 5, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Spirited defensive play of Paul Maguire

THE DOPE: The Bulldogs, scarcely more than whelps last season, are one year closer to a big year. Of the pack of returning lettermen, four are seniors and only two of these start. After spring practice, Coach Eddie Teague was pleased with the aggressive line play. In sophomore End Paul Maguire he has one of the promising young men of the conference. The slender Maguire developed into a superb defensive scrapper last season. He's fast and an able pass receiver. The opposite end is filled by Junior Bob Saunders, a better pass catcher. The tackles, someday, will be dandy. Two sophomores are here, Harry Rakowski and the amazingly quick Pete Davidson, a 248-pounder. The backfield is more of a problem. First, to make his split-T go, Teague seeks an all-round quarterback. The choice lies between Sophomore Jack Griffin, who passes well but lacks as a ball handler, and the reasonably steady Bobby Schwarze. Secondly, Teague must make do with a thin crew of halfbacks, only two of whom are near to top college caliber. The fullback, Ed Dzanis, is a well-rounded ballplayer who hits hard for a 185-pounder, is quick and a good linebacker. Chalk it up as a building year for Citadel.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Newberry, N (20-20)
SEPT. 27 at George Washington, N (0-20)
OCT. 5 at Davidson (34-7)
OCT. 11 Wofford at Orangeburg (19-23)
OCT. 19 Richmond, N (3-7)
OCT. 26 Furman, N (0-7)
NOV. 2 William & Mary (no game)
NOV. 9 Presbyterian (20-13)
NOV. 16 MI at Lynchburg, N (no game)
NOV. 23 at Vanderbilt (no game)

Davidson, N.C.

COLORS: Black and red
BASIC OFFENSE: T with split ends and flankers
1956 RECORD: Won 5, lost 3, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Darting runs of Paul Barbee

THE DOPE: The Wildcats, hard hit by backfield graduation, are casting their lot with a pair of untried quarterbacks and a junior scatback. The shortback problem, with good Passers Dick Belton and Dyke Little graduated, is severe. Coach Bill Dole has two nonlettermen to choose from: Sophomore Charlie Benson, a southpaw, and Junior Tom Cutting. Dole rates them about even. About his scatback, Dole is more effusive. "Paul Barbee is the best back I've had here. He's a wonderful runner, an excellent blocker; he can throw and he's outstanding on pass defense." About a junior, that's golden talk, but Barbee did average 4.9 yards a carry last season. At the other half is another scatman, Ralph Setzler, who was out last season after an injury in the opener. Dave Warden, a 200-pounder with a year's experience, is the plunging fullback. These three, however, are the only lettermen backs. The line is deep and steady. At least one veteran returns to every spot. Best bet to shine is senior Center Bill Price, the captain. Price, a varsity player since he was a freshman, weighs only 187 but is rugged. Dole won't get the passing mileage he had last year, but the running and defense should be improved.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 20 Catawba at Charlotte, N (20-6)
SEPT. 28 at East Carolina, N (no game)
OCT. 5 Citadel (7-34)
OCT. 12 at VMI (13-13)
OCT. 19 West Va. Tech (no game)
OCT. 26 Presbyterian (26-6)
NOV. 9 Wofford (14-27)
NOV. 16 at Richmond (7-0)
NOV. 22 at Furman (13-27)

Greenville, S.C.

COLORS: Purple and white
BASIC OFFENSE: T, with variations
1956 RECORD: Won 2, lost 8
WATCH FOR: Slashing runs of Jerry Penland

THE DOPE: The Purple Hurricane, after huffing and puffing through two bad seasons, is ready to blow down a few rivals this year. Coach Homer B. Hobbs has a half dozen fine players and a long list of lettermen to do it with. The 'Canes were shut out three times and averaged only a touchdown a game last season; this year they're mounting a slashing running attack. Halfback Jerry Penland is the hub; he rushed 579 yards for a 4.7 average last year. To aid him on this attack is veteran Jimmy Grant, a 205-pound fullback. Quarterback is Billy Baker, who jelled into a poised player last season. If the running offense goes lame, he can pass. Up forward, the end and center spots are strongest. Ray Siminski and Dick Pfeifer are a pair of rugged flankers who have five varsity letters between them. Buddy Walton, a 205-pound junior, is solid at center. The biggest trouble is over tackle. Ronnie Brown, a good-sized senior, has nailed down one spot. The other is open, but it looks as if the upstart Sophomore Virgil Gambrell will get the nod. This means Hobbs would bench Don Markofski, a two-year veteran and starter last season. Such foresigns are cheering up the folks at Greenville.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 14 East Tennessee, N (no game)
SEPT. 21 at Florida State, N (7-42)
SEPT. 28 at Villanova (no game)
OCT. 5 George Washington, N (0-10)
OCT. 12 at South Carolina, N (6-13)
OCT. 19 at Wofford, N (6-18)
OCT. 26 at Citadel, N (7-0)
NOV. 16 Chattanooga (no game)
NOV. 22 Davidson (27-13)
NOV. 30 Clemson (7-28)

Washington, D.C.

COLORS: Buff and blue
BASIC OFFENSE: T, belly series
1956 RECORD: Won 8, lost 1, tied 1
WATCH FOR: A well-balanced attack led by Quarterback Ray Looney

THE DOPE: The Colonials will field an all-lettermen starting team which should yield to no one. However, if these lads should tire, or get hurt, Coach Eugene (Bo) Sherman has little to fall back upon. The reserve troops bear a startling resemblance to the men who surrounded the school's namesake at Valley Forge. The sophomores, too, are a rabble in arms. This means that the Colonials have only a flicker of hope for the title. Still, that starting team is more than adequate. The key man is senior Quarterback Ray Looney, who can pass and who is a sprightly runner of the "belly series." Behind him is the hardly less admirable Jack Henzes. Hard-running Dick Claypool, last year's right half, has been moved to fullback and Mike Sommer and Ted Colna are halfbacks to bear in mind. If there is any need here it is for a really blockbusting runner. Bill Berry and Francis Gleason, if he recovers from a summer injury, are ends who can be counted upon to hold onto a pass. All the starting linemen are valiant. But it is here that reserve strength is most needed. If some comes along this could be a top team. If not, George Washington will still be worth considerably more than a continental this fall.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 at William & Mary (16-14)
SEPT. 27 Citadel, N (20-0)
OCT. 5 at Furman, N (10-0)
OCT. 11 Air Force Academy, N (no game)
OCT. 18 West Virginia, N (0-14)
OCT. 26 VMI at Roanoke (40-14)
NOV. 1 Boston U., N (20-20)
NOV. 9 at Richmond (32-6)
NOV. 16 Navy at Baltimore (no game)

Richmond, Va.

COLORS: Red and blue
1956 RECORD: Won 4, lost 5
WATCH FOR: The broken field running of David Ames

THE DOPE: The Spiders are busy spinning daydreams of the best season since Coach Eddie Merrick came back to the Richmond campus in 1951. Merrick expects the defense, which so piteously fell open on several occasions last fall, to be one of the tightest he's coached. A guard problem is partially met by 200-pound Jerry Mingis moving over from tackle. Other inner line standouts are Tackle Pat Lamberti and Center Dick Eaton, a pair of 220-pound juniors. One flank is ably handled by defense-minded Lew St. Clair. The other end is J.P. Vass, home from the Navy. Vass has the hands, speed and size of a top-flight pass receiver. In the backfield, Merrick is starting all juniors. Halfback David Ames is the nugget here; he's like quicksilver to catch. Mickey Markinkov, about the same size and only a step slower, is at the other side. Fullback Buddy Davis is a good blocker but only a fair ball carrier and defenseman. Gerald Landis should go at quarter. He's a good ball handler and short passer. For the slick option play, Sophomore Joe Rossetti should go in. No doubt about it, the Spiders are going to have a good season. But to be in contention for a conference title, that's something else again.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 14 East Carolina at Portsmouth, N (45-7)
SEPT. 21 Randolph-Macon, N (38-0)
SEPT. 28 at Dayton, N (no game)
OCT. 5 VMI (20-35)
OCT. 19 at Citadel, N (7-3)
OCT. 26 at Rutgers (no game)
NOV. 2 at Virginia Tech (14-46)
NOV. 9 George Washington (6-32)
NOV. 16 Davidson (0-7)
NOV. 28 William & Mary (6-0)

Lexington, Va.

COLORS: Red, white and yellow
1956 RECORD: Won 3, lost 6, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Thrilling kick returns by Sam Woolwine

THE DOPE: The Keydet line, neither long nor gray last season, now should be mature enough to stop the free flow of enemy backs. With this help VMI is bound to improve its record. Starters return to nearly every spot on the line and are backed up by able reserves. Look for the savage charges of 223-pound Tackle Jim McFalls and, offensively, the sharp pull-out blocking of Guard Lou Farmer. Farmer will help clear the way for a fast veteran backfield. The big ground-gainer is Sam Woolwine, senior fullback. Sam goes only 175 pounds, but he's a slashing runner and a whiz on the kickoff return. Exciting spot play is expected from junior Halfback Art Brandriff, a former schoolboy roller-skating champ. He's speedy, even without the ball bearings, and a good pass catcher. The boy throwing the passes is Duke Johnson, probably the best passer in the league. The leading end is Nick Evanusich, neither a big man nor fast, but one who turns a nice button-hook and can take the pass slicing toward the sideline. Best bets of the sophomores are Halfback Sam Horner, Tackle Jon Quinn and Dick Evans, a slender end. In short, Coach John McKenna has a colorful team. It'll be fun to watch.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 at Tampa, N (no game)
SEPT. 28 at Holy Cross (no game)
OCT. 5 at Richmond (35-20)
OCT. 12 Davidson (13-13)
OCT. 19 at William & Mary (20-6)
OCT. 26 Geo. Washington at Roanoke (14-40)
NOV. 2 at Virginia (0-18)
NOV. 9 at Lehigh (20-27)
NOV. 16 Citadel at Lynchburg, N (no game)
NOV. 28 Virginia Tech at Roanoke (0-45)

Blacksburg, Va.

COLORS: Orange and maroon
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 2, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Thrilling pass catching of Carroll Dale

THE DOPE: The Gobblers could settle the conference title before the leaves have fully burnished along the Appalachians. On Sept. 28 they meet West Virginia, and the winner that day should get the crown. Coach Frank Moseley faces two early-season toughies with misgivings over the lack of developed reserve strength. Most urgent infirmity is in the inner line. Best starters here are Guard Ben Schmidt, a hard charger who also can pull well to lead the interference; Russell Moon, a steady 240-pound tackle, and a highly promising junior tackle, Jim Burks. Top end prospect, and perhaps one of the best in the South, is Carroll Dale. Dale, a sophomore, is sure-handed as a pass catcher and the fastest man on the squad. Throwing to him will be one of two quarterbacks, Billy Cranwell or Jimmy Lugar, seniors. Cranwell is the better passer, but look for Lugar to run a nice option play. Best back is Halfback Ray England, who is quick and runs fairly hard for a 185-pounder. Bob Connor, a swift 200-pound fullback, adds power to the ground game. The backfield is fast and fairly deep, but the reserve linemen must mature fast. If they do, the Gobblers might improve on last year's record.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 20 at Tulane, N (14-21)
SEPT. 28 at West Virginia (no game)
OCT. 5 at William & Mary (34-7)
OCT. 12 Villanova (no game)
OCT. 19 Virginia at Richmond (14-7)
OCT. 26 at Florida State (20-7)
NOV. 2 Richmond (46-14)
NOV. 9 at Wake Forest (13-13)
NOV. 16 N.C. State at Roanoke (35-6)
NOV. 28 VMI at Roanoke (45-0)

Morgantown, W. Va.

COLORS: Gold and blue
1956 RECORD: Won 6, lost 4
WATCH FOR: Short, powerful running of Larry Krutko

THE DOPE: The Mountaineers can again be expected to inflict cruel punishment on the conference. Coach Art Lewis' fine group of 1954 recruits are seniors now. Only one junior, 205-pound Bruce McClung, breaks into an all-senior lineup. How well WVU fares against outside competition—which includes three eastern powers—may ride with the fortunes of Quarterback Mickey Trimarki. In two years Trimarki hasn't fulfilled his potential; and last year he developed the disturbing penchant of tossing passes into the hands of opponents. Even so, he is a capable ball handler and tactician; and he did turn in an excellent spring practice. The rest of the backfield is deep and well spiced with heft. At full is Larry Krutko, no breakaway runner, but one bullish enough to win the league's yardage crown last season. Breakaway stuff could be supplied by Whitey Mikanik, a stocky speedster who is hampered by a bad thumb. The tackles, Jim Pickett and Paul Sharkady, are both over 225 pounds. And the guards, ah! the guards. These boys, Joe Nicely and Chuck Howley, in the words of Lewis, are "as good a pair as any in the country." No doubt the Mountaineers are safe on the line.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Virginia (no game)
SEPT. 28 Virginia Tech (no game)
OCT. 5 at Wisconsin (no game)
OCT. 12 at Boston U. (no game)
OCT. 18 at George Washington, N (14-0)
OCT. 26 William & Mary (20-13)
NOV. 2 at Penn State (6-16)
NOV. 9 at Pittsburgh (13-14)
NOV. 16 at Wake Forest (no game)
NOV. 23 Syracuse (20-27)

Williamsburg, Va.

COLORS: Green, gold and silver
1956 RECORD: Won 0, lost 9, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Crushing runs of Halfback Charlie Sidwell

THE DOPE: The Indians, who last fall suffered their darkest days of football in 20 years, are set for the renaissance. Jack Freeman's head rolled in March, and now Milt Drewer, a successful Virginia high school coach, steps in. Coach Drewer faces a stiff schedule with a clear and determined eye. Base his hopes generally on the loss of only one starter from Freeman's team. Base them particularly on a good backfield, highlighted by Halfback Charlie Sidwell. Ex-Paratrooper Sidwell is the best back in the conference. He's an all-round 210-pounder, notable for his blockbusting runs. Another bright hope is junior Quarterback Tom Secules, who was sidelined last season with a bad back. He is capably spelled by strong passer Bob Hardage. Halfback Jack Yohe, another injury victim last year, and 215-pound Fullback Len Rubal, are two others in this fast, powerful backfield. The line picture is not so encouraging. Drewer would like more depth, especially at end and center. Al Sherman, a fleet pass catcher, is being shifted from halfback to a flank. He teams up with last year's conference pass-catching leader, Larry Peccatiello. At center, Bill Rush, a near 60-minute man last year, seems doomed to go it alone again.

1957 SCHEDULE (1957 score):

SEPT. 21 Geo. Wash. (14-16)
SEPT. 28 at Navy (14-39)
OCT. 5 Virginia Tech (7-34)
OCT. 12 at Penn State (no game)
OCT. 19 VMI (6-20)
OCT. 26 at West Virginia (13-20)
NOV. 2 at Citadel (no game)
NOV. 9 at N.C. State (no game)
NOV. 16 Rutgers (6-20)
NOV. 28 at Richmond (0-6)