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Probably no other college offers a greater variety of sports than Harvard does to an incoming Freshman, and perhaps no other comparative group is more sports-minded than an incoming Harvard Freshman class. The whole philosophy of education at Harvard encourages the development of the whole man, and without at least a passing interest in some sport, the average student is almost certain to find himself with a good amount of time hanging heavy on his hands.
Sports vs Studies
Athletics in Cambridge are handled in such a way that studies, which are after all the fundamental reason anyone comes here, are not relegated to a secondary position. The average undergraduate, and anyone who gets into Harvard is at least average, is well qualified to spend most of his afternoons in athletic recreation, pass his studies with whatever rank he's set upon as his goal, and still have a couple of evenings off for what he calls amusement.
But whether a person feels he likes sports, or whether he feels he has the time for them or not, he still has to exercise because the college says so. Some form of exercise three times a week is what the doctor orders for every Freshman, unless he has an airtight excuse. And to satisfy that requirement, the Harvard Athletic Association, which you'll probably never hear referred to in any other way except as the H.A.A., offers just 20 different varieties.
The first sport to be commented upon is swimming, which enjoys the facilities of one of the fastest pools in the country. Everybody who comes to Harvard tries out the pool once. If you can swim, just up the pool and back, you don't have to go near the place again, but if you can't you'll have to learn.
The other must sports is corrective exercise for those whose posture is analyzed as faulty after pictures are taken. The later form of exercise is apt to prove to be a surprising amount of fun to those who have never seen the way they do it at Harvard, and many fellows once in stick to it or come back at some time during the year when there is no sport going on in which they are interested. Many teams are put through a course of it before they appear on the field, rink, floor, or pool.
The other fall sports are to begin with football, and trailing that in publicity though not in popularity, come cross country, soccer, tennis, squash, crew, singles sculling, handball, with impromptu touch touch football, and fall baseball filling in the remaining spots. There's also pingpong and pool. Other sports which come up during the remainder of the year are hockey, wrestling, boxing, basketball, fencing, track, lacrosse, baseball, rugby, golf, and polo. This is a variety which is almost sure to offer at least one sport that a Freshman hasn't tried and probably more.
The sports which are supervised by coaches during the fall season are football, soccer, cross country, and crew. The rest are on an impromptu basis, but a fall tennis tournament is usually started before the month of October is very well along.
Football annually has a turn out of well over 200, but such a setup shouldn't terrorize any Freshman who feels he has the stuff of which heroes are made. Henry Lamar, who handled the Junior Varsity last year, will take the Freshmen in hand this fall. He will be assisted by Joe Hill as line coach. No cuts will be made on the squad until Lamar has had a definite chance to size up every aspirant, but even then prospects on the intramural squads will be given the once over regularly, and the more promising brought up again.
Bert Haines will again coach the applicants for seats in the Freshman crew which isn't finally whipped together until spring time. Bert has seen Varsity crew coaches come and go, and it is prety certain that he'll see more pass in review before he gives up his job. For those who have no weight to give away, the 150-pound crews offer an opportunity. Less exacting than the regular crew practice, is sculling on the river in the dozens of sculls which are housed in the Weld Boat House across the river from the regular crew headquarters (Newell). Blake Dennison is always on hand here to initiate a newcomer into sculling or to improve the style of his more experienced classmate. An informal fall regatta is held among scullers also.
For Freshmen who have the urge to run, cross country will probably be the prescription offered by Doctor Jaako Mikkola, coach of the track and cross country teams. Jaakko is one of the most inspiring coaches in the H.A.A. Starting off as a trainer, he has successively risen as cross country coach, Freshman track coach, field events coach, until last year he was given complete charge of the whole track setup when he succeeded in keeping the record of never having been beaten in dual track meets for three years intact. His Finnish accent is positively thrilling.
Soccer is the final sport in which those who desire fall insignia can compete. Those who want to boot the ball around will find the large fields behind the Business School and the coaching of Jim McDonald an incentive to longer and Sturdier booting. Johnny Carr, former professional soccer player who handles the Varsity, will supervise the play
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