Gridders Are Optimistic Despite Dismal Season

The Football Notebook

After suffering its worst season since 1950, the Harvard football team has a lot of reasons to be optimistic about next year.

Although Harvard loses quarterback Tom Yohe, running back Tony Hinz and a host of other stars from the past three years, the squad returns a solid core of players for the 1989 season.

In the backfield, four players--the number two, three, four and five rushers behind Hinz--saw starting action and will return.

Quarterback Tim Perry was the fourth-leading rusher despite starting only one game. He should run a lot next year too, considering the Crimson loses its top three receivers and returns only one offensive lineman.

The offensive line, a strong point last year, never jelled despite returning four of five starters. This year they are all gone. Only Gerald Mahon and Buz Crain, who shared the job at left tackle, return.

On defense, the Crimson must continue to rebuild. The unit this year was suspect at times, yielding almost twice as much yardage as last year's unit did. New Captain Greg Gicewicz, a starter for most of the season, returns along with Mike Murphy to man the front.

Linebacker Rick McIntire was a starter by the end of the year and he should be solid next year with this season's experience under his belt.

The secondary could be improved, too. Harvard lost all four starters from a unit last year that was beaten a lot. The replacements this year weren't much better.

But there are four different players who saw starting action this year, and they should tighten up the pass defense. After a year of playing together, cornerbacks Jim Smith, Chris Rezendes and Cory Thabit and hard-hitting adjuster Bobby Frame should know each other's strengths and weaknesses better.

Terrific Tom: Yohe went where no Harvard quarterback had gone before.

Harvard's all-time leading passer entering the season, Yohe hit the 3000-yard mark in the season's second week, the 4000-yard mark in week five, and he had a shot at 5000 career passing yards before he was injured.

Yohe holds a host of Harvard passing records. He holds career records for passing yards (4407), passing attempts (648), completions (320), passing touchdowns (30), interceptions (24), total plays (845) and total offense (4388).

Yohe also holds several single-season passing marks, including passing yards (2134), passing attempts (321), completions (158), touchdowns (17), total plays (417) and total offense (1982).

Nine is Enough: Junior running back Jim Reidy averaged one touchdown run every ten rushing attempts. Reidy (5-ft., 9-in., 190-lbs.) carried the ball 40 times (for 223 yards) and scored four touchdowns.

In addition to his short-yardage skills, Reidy also proved to be a game-breaker. He had the Crimson's longest run from scrimmage (51 yards), longest pass reception (55 yards) and longest kickoff return (42 yards).