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The ratification yesterday by the Athletic Committee of Captain Marshall's choice of J. S. Cranston as head coach for the football team next fall makes possible a definite view of the prospects of the eleven. Mr. Cranston entered college in 1888, and during the three years that he remained made a lasting reputation as one of the greatest football players that ever attended the University. At Exeter, where he prepared, he played for four years on teams that ranked second only to those of the largest colleges. He played center on the University team during his freshman year, the following season at guard, and in 1890 again at center where he took a prominent part in the 12 to 6 victory over Yale at Springfield. In addition to his activity in football he secured a place on the University crew. Before his senior year he entered business. Although his attention since then has been very much occupied, he has been an almost regular member of the coaching staff during the twelve years since he was in College and has observed carefully the various changes in the game.
The season of 1903 will find a more decided return to the early, development of team-play than has been attempted during recent years. This change will be facilitated by the return of many players who have already had experience on the team and been drilled in the elementary work which generally consumes so much of the time at the beginning of the season. Only four of the men on the team this year will be unable to play, and as the seven men who will return are, with the exception of Captain Marshall, all linemen, there will be an excellent opportunity to rectify, with experienced material, that weakness in defensive play which was one of the chief obstacles to the successful out-come of the season last fall. The loss of three men from the backfield will be severely felt, and it is partly in order to overcome this that the plan has been adopted in favor of the earlier development of team-play. The principal contest for positions will occur at the beginning of the season, and one settled team will be kept together as much as possible. More attention will be given to signal practice than heretofore. In addition, the substitutes will have more work than has been the custom recently, as they will be played often on the second eleven in the scrimmages against the University team.
The situation which will confront the coaches will be directly the reverse of the one with which they had to contend last fall. Instead of defensive ability, offensive strength will have to be developed. Some of the men who were instrumental in carrying the ball this year in the formation players will again be available, but the three principals in this part of the game will be gone, R. P. German '03, left halfback, T. H. Graydon '03, fullback, and W. S. Whit well '03, substitute guard, will not return; and E. T. Putnam '01, right halfback, will complete his work in the Graduate School. E. Bowditch, Jr., '03, right end, D. W. Knowlton '03, right tackle, and W. S. Sugden '03, center, will graduate in June, but expect to return to enter the Law School. The only position left vacant in the line will be that of C. A. Barnard 2L. at left guard. Barnard, who will continue his work in the Law School, has already played three years as a regular member of the team, but in the fall of 1899 he took part as a substitute in some of the minor games, and, having thus completed his fourth year as a representative of the University, is ineligible to play longer. Besides captain C. B. Marshall '04, quarterback, the following will remain from this year's team to play again next season: A. Marshall 2L., right guard, P. O. Mills '05, left end, and C. A. She '04, left tackle.
Together with the substitutes on the eleven this year and the new men who will come out, the vacant positions should be well filled. For fullback there are three men of considerable experience,--T. G. Meier '04, W. T. Harrison '05, and H. Schoellkopf 1L., who was formerly a member of the Cornell team. At halfback will be D. J. Hurley '05, who substituted for Putnam in the Yale game this fall, T. P. Lindsay '04, and possibly F. W. C. Foster '03 and R. W. Leatherbee '05. The chief wan at will be felt in the quarterback position where, in case of injury to Marshall, only inexperienced material is available--H. S. Parker '04, W. Mc. Elkins '05, W. C. Matthew '05 and S. H. Noyes '03. To fill Barnard's place at left guard there will be a choice between E. C. Hovey, Jr., '05, R. G. Colurn '04, and S. Wilder '05.
There is an unusually competent lot of substitutes for end. Among the number are W. J. Clothier '04, J. T. Jones '04, J. A. Burgess '04, A. Crocker, Jr., '05, W. C. Matthews '05 and C. W. Randall '05. R. M. Bleakie '04 and R. Oveson '05 are the most promising substitutes for the tackle positions.
Several men from the Freshman eleven who played on the University squad during part of the season showed good ability, and with proper development should make strong players. Of the men on the Freshman team, J. M. Montgomery, Jr., and E. G. Bartels, ends; F. A. Carrick and J. Parkinson, Jr., linemen; and J. D. Nicholas, and F. H. Nesmith, halfback, seem to be the most capable.
Spring practice will begin on Monday, March 30, not on next Monday as formerly announced.
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