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Letter to the Freshman Class.


The CRIMSON has received for publication the following letter to the freshman class by W. Alexander '87, on the subject of the freshman crew:

Editors Daily Crimson:

Will you kindly impress upon the freshman class the desirability of bringing out their best men as candidates for the crew?

Our freshman crews are important factors in the development of men for the 'varsity, indeed, so valuable is the experience of training with the freshmen at New London, that the 'varsity is usually composed (with few exceptions) of men who sat in their freshman boats. It is desired therefore, that the most promising men in each freshman class shall have the benefit of that preparation.

By forcing the upper class men to their best efforts in the class races, the freshmen can aid in stimulating an interest in boating which will encourage and naturally assist the 'varsity.

Finally, I believe that Ninety-three must take every possible chance to defeat Columbia next June. It is safe to predict that after their defeat last June, and in view of a possibility of a dual league between Harvard and Yale, the Columbia managers will make extra efforts to turn out a fast crew; and we have found that they can succeed pretty well when they try. We must assume then that the Columbia freshmen will be as skilful in the use of the oar as our men. Haw can Harvard win? There are two respects in which our men can prove themselves superior, viz., material and capacity for work.

It would be strange if with our large classes we could not find more good men than a college of fewer numbers. But the difficulties of getting those men to work are great. The captain can have only a limited acquaintance in his class, and must trust to the men to respond to his calls printed in the CRIMSON. But many good men hesitate about offering themselves; some, through modesty, others through indifference; I have heard men say even in November "they thought the crew had been chosen;" some have an idea that assessments are levied on the candidates to pay expenses. Will you tell these men that it will cost them nothing but an hour's labor each day; that in order to find out who are the best men we must try them all? Even if some men fail to get a seat in the boat they will have made the successful candidates work hard for their places.

The candidates should make up their minds to out-work their rivals. Other things being equal that team will win which does the hardest and most intelligent work. This is especially true in crew rowing. It is a fact that more than one Harvard team has lost through fear of over training. By beginning early with light work the men can gradually increase the amount with beneficial results and without injury. That is why we invite all likely men to begin training at once.


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