LINING THEM UP
Speed and Depth on the Mat
Varsity wrestling Coach Bob Pickett will have the strongest team of-his career at the College, when he opens his fourth season against Williams Saturday.
For the first time since he has been here, Pickett has powerful men in practically all positions. Last year's team was strong in the heavyweights, while the season before that the key men were lightweights. This winter, "They're all great," the coach reports.
The coach justifies such a superlative by noting that almost his whole squad has that vitally important attribute of speed. He considers Captain Chick Chandler at 167 one of the fastest men he has over seen on the varsity.
In addition, Phil Burnaman, last year's freshman standout at 137, is "really hot--both fast and smart." Even the usually lumbering heavyweights are quick this year, Pickett comments, pointing to sophomore Pete Morrison and last year's regular George Bates, who are battling for the unlimited position.
Depth as Well as Speed
But the team has more than fast men; it also has depth. The coach feels that "having an extra man who is very nearly as good as the starter is an invaluable aid to a wrestling team, which is naturally prone to injuries." A glance at a few weight classes reveals the team's extraordinary depth.
At 123 for instance, which is usually a very shallow position, he has returning letterman Don Fern plus newcomer Al Muggla, who is "coming right along." Then at 130, Pickett has both veteran Bud Allen and a rapidly rising sophomore, Phil Herrera.
Moving up to 157, there are returnee Lennio Miller and Dick Hook. The latter was captain of last year's undefeated freshman team. And even in the frequently sparse 177-pound class, the team has two good men. Both Al Culbert, the football player, and his brother Ken, another letterman, can fill this position.
There is one spot--147--without reserves, but the very capable Frank Baker, whom Pickett calls the hardest worker on the squad, has strength enough to compensate for the lack of depth.
In spite of his confidence in his squad, Pickett has reservations about predicting any improvement over last year's record of three wins, two ties, and three defeats.
His reservations are not unjustified, for the team faces a difficult and poorly staggered schedule. Along with its perennially rugged opponents--Army, Yale and Columbia--the Crimson has the added task of meeting a new foe, powerful Pennsylvania, just two days following its traditionally taxing match with Princeton.
But if the schedule is tough, then so is the team, and Pickett's speed and depth may bring new spirit and success to Crimson wrestling.