Short strips of tape on the benches and lockers of the freshman football team's dressing room spell out a very simple message: Beat Yale.
Occasional pictures of bulldogs and posters of last year's score in the Dillon corridors are sufficient reminders to the varsity players that theirs is more than just another game.
The freshmen require a slightly different approach. Prominently displayed on their bulletin board are evidences of Eli pomposity and self-esteem from the Yale Daily News, such as, "Bullpup Gridders: Small But Tough," and "Bullpups Trample Dartmouth, 16-6, Posting Third Consecutive Victory." A short note taped on one of the lockers reads, "Yale has ordered tubs in which to ice refreshments to celebrate their victory."
All the propaganda is carefully calculated by the managers to instill in the Yardlings a sense of the Harvard-Yale rivalry. The freshmen, though, are almost good enough not to need it.
Coach Henry Lamar concedes that the '62 freshman team is every bit as good as the present sophomores were last year. In fact, he gives the current team's backfield a slight edge in speed. The Yalies pride themselves in their "fast, lean Bullpups," but the freshmen match them pound for pound.
The Yardlings money ballplayer is a 5 ft. 10 in halfback from Oregon named John Damis, who either slants through the line or runs around it. In addition to running Damis is also a passing or kicking threat.
Relies on Ground Game
Directing the team is Grady Watts, a quarterback from Manhasset, L.I., who is not only about as good as Charlie Ravenel was last year, but is one inch and five pounds smaller than the varsity back. The freshman squad stays mainly on the ground, but, when Watts throws, he has a horde of capable ends on the receiving side, headed by Bob Boyda and Bob Mautz.
Backs can run only through holes manufactured by linemen, and the Yardlings have a very competent forward wall, anchored by Captain Bill Swinford, an all-State guard from Oklahoma. Darwin Wile and Mike Sheridan make a pair of 200-pound tackles, and Massachusetts all-Prep Tony Watters holds down the center position.
While not yet a match for the "Chinese Bandits" of LSU, the defensive squad has allowed a mere 16 points this season, ten of which came during the last five minutes of the Princeton game. Yale's defense permitted the Tigers two more touchdowns than the Yardlings, while its offense scored 37 points.
If fullback Gil Bamford and left halfback Roy Williams can again put on a powerful offensive show with Damis, and the team doesn't fumble the game away this afternoon, they can take the tape off the benches and save it for the fellows in the other dressing room.