Today the 1938 Harvard Varsity football team begins its third week of practice, and starting Monday, the morning sessions will be discontinued. Next week intensive work against the Brown plays will commence, for the season opener with the none too tame Bruin bear is hardly over a week away.
In order the most startling events of the last two weeks have been: (1) the shifting of Cliff Wilson back to his old post of blocking back, undoubtedly due to the fact that chief Boston is not in top shape to handle the position alone; (2) the loss of Rick Hedblom, second center last year who was slated to become a first string guard this year, due to injuries; (3) the three-cornered fight between Ben Smith, Mike Cohen, and Joe Gardella for the bucking back post, so capably filled last year by Vernon Struck.
New Baseball Coach at Work
Harlow's coaching staff this year is a six-man affair. Under chief Richard himself we find the two backfield coaches John Wood (Pittsburgh '37) and Vernon Struck (Harvard '38, end coach Wes Fesler (Ohio State '31), and line coach Lyal Clark (Western Maryland '30). There is also the newly-appointed baseball mentor, Floyd Stahl, of Ohio State. Stahl had football coaching experience at Ohio State, and he is working under Harlow at present; he will probably be pressed into scouting work later in the fall.
Headache of this capable staff is to find reserves for the team. Harlow started the year with only a 14-man "red shirt" Varsity squad, of which nine are Seniors. He has announced the intention of building up these "red-shirts" to 30 by the Brown game, but the promotions have been slow, in keeping with the greenness of the reserve material.
Five Promoted So Far
So far five have been promoted. Mike Cohen, 185-pound bucking back and a fine defensive player, was taken up to increase the tempo of the fight between him and Smith, 188-pounder, for the bucking berth. Two Sophomore tackles, Tom Healey, 200-pound baseball pitcher, at left tackle, and Mose Hallett, 188-pound right tackle, have both been upped. As Ken Booth has his eye on 60 minutes of play in all the games, Hallett's chances do not appear too bright.
With Tim Russell entrenched in the top center berth, Jim Fearon is another one of the five promotions who may not see too much service. Fearon did not play last year but was a Varsity squad center in 1936.
The final promotion went to Bill Coleman, a center last year who has been shifted to guard, who appears to have a good chance to push Dave Clueck, the only guard with experience, out of the top position flanking Russell's right. At left guard Nick Mellon, a light but capable Senior, won his "red-shirt" at the opening of the practice sessions.
Captain Bob Green, big Don Daughters, and 6 foot 3 Win Jameson are the three-"red" ends. Replacements after these three are not too strong at this writing.
Torby Macdonald must be classed as the flash of the running backs. His work so far has been very pleasing to the coaches. He is by far the fastest man on the field. Under him at wingback is Burnett who, though not the runner Macdonald is, has done some excellent kicking, which has definitely been a weak feature of the Harlow regime so far.
Austie Harding, a brilliant but erratic passer and runner, and Frank Foley, steady but not as brilliant as Harding, have been going neck and neck for the tailback post. Unquestionably Harding is one of the most improved players on the field; both he and Foley have shown good play-calling ability in the past.
This year's principal innovation has been the mirrors installed back of the blocking dummies on the south end of the practice field. Their main use so far has been in teaching faking.
Yesterday afternoon Harlow drove the squad through a rigorous drill, in spite of the coming hurricane. The drill was finally halted when a section of the fence blew across the field and almost demolished the "C" and "D" teams. Enough was enough, thought chief Richard.