Yardlings Pull Away After Close Going
Combining a strong effort in the big team sports, basketball and softball, and a large turnout in the individual tournaments, fencing, cross-country, and wrestling, Straus ran away to a 128 point victory in the freshman intramural standings.
Although Straus finished with a comfortable margin of victory the Yardling composite competition was close until March. But in a one-week stretch, Straus won the basketball title and added first in the boxing and wrestling tournaments to move ahead to stay.
Straus Procter Brad Howe credited athletic secretary Ed Bujalski for inspirational leadership. "We had been finishing second or third in almost every event in the winter," Howe said. "But the guys were really motivated after Ed went out and won his weight class in the boxing tournament."
"He was just a tough kid from the South side of Chicago with no professional experience." Howe said. "Everyone predicted that if anyone in the tournament was a favorite, Jeff McKinnon, who had training at Exeter, was a cinch. Ed got the shit beat out of him in the first round, but he came back to win. That made the other guys willing to sacrifice a little."
Bujalski was the only Straus entrant in the boxing tournament, but his undefeated record gave Straus the tournament title.
At the same time. freshman transfer Jim Fitzsimmons led the Straus basketball team to the Yardling championship. Basketball had a fall and a spring championship, and Fitzsimmons' outside shooting took both crowns for Straus.
This spring Straus padded its 15 point margin over Thayer North by winning the softball playoffs, reaching the volleyball semifinals, and placing third overall in the Yardling track meet. Thayer North, which led Straus by 80 points after an outstanding fall season, finished the year second.
"No one was serious about intramurals until that one week at the end of the basketball season." Bujalski said. "And the proctor and Yard adviser gave added incentive by promising a victory party for the dorm."
Straus thanked Howe and their Yard adviser. Burris Young, for their graciousness by pouring a quart of beer down their pants. "We have some great pictures that are waiting to be developed." Bujalski added. "You should see Burris' navel."