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Second Harlow edition of the Crimson grid squad opened their campaign yesterday morning as 97 men reported for the first practice of the season.
Although only four starters in last year's Yale clash--Bob Jones at center, Captain Jim Gaffney and Joe Nee at guards, and line-bucker Vernon Struck--have returned, Coach Harlow felt it a jubilant mood. "I feel greatly encouraged by the marvelous spirit of the boys," he said, "and their determination and willingness to pay the price exacted by a tough season. If this is any indication, these boys will turn in great deal better performances this year."
Six Other Lettermen
In addition to the four Eli starters, there are only six other letter-men among yesterday's squad: Rus Allen, Tom Bilodeau, George Ford, George Hedblom, Charlie Kessler, and Bill Watt. It is a young, unseasoned squad facing one of the toughest schedules that has ever appeared on the Harvard docket, one that includes none of the traditional early season touchdown romps, and lists Navy on the Saturday before the Bowl invasion.
But to counteract these not too encouraging facts, the advantage of a more seasoned coaching staff, one that has worked for one season together under Harvard conditions, is a heavy counterweight. When one also considers the benefits to be reaped from the excellent spring practice session, the eleven's outlook for the season is far more rosy than it was at this time last year.
For instance, it was a disorganized looking outfit that milled around newcomer Harlow at the first work-out of the 1935 campaign, a vastly different spectacle from that enacted on Soldiers Field yesterday afternoon. Name tapes that were used for identification of the players last year were conspicuously absent, as the coaches know the names of almost every candidate, and could even quote the exact weights of many.
The practice was run on a strict time schedule, starting promptly at 9.30 o'clock with a short grass drill. The squad was then divided into four main groups; blocking backs working under Neil Stahley, running backs reporting to Howie Odell, Rae Crowther attending to the linemen, and Wes Fesler taking the ends. At 11 o'clock when practice ended, eight teams were running through signal drill.
The afternoon session was similar, but more strenuous.
One of the weakest spots in the Crimson potentialities at present is in the ranks of the blocking backs. To bolster up this department, all possible candidates have been turned over to Stahley for several weeks drilling and observation. The more likely recruits will then be cast in this role for the balance of the season.
Two wide gaps in the team's line-up have been left by George Blackwood and ex-captain Emile Dubiel who will be ineligible this year because of scholastic difficulties. Both were Yale starters, and gave promlise of becoming mainstays of the 1936 machine. Their services will not be entirely lost to Harvard football, however, as Blackwood will coach the freshman backfield and Dubiel will be mentor to the Yardling ends. Both will serve without compensation.
Two teams were chosen yesterday by Harlow to run through signals, neither of which he explained, could be called the "A" eleven, but "X" and "Y".
Team "X": ends, Gibson Winter '38 and Philip C. Staples '38; tackles, James J. Gaffney, Jr. '37 and Graham K. Spring '37; gurads, Charles W. Kessler '37 and Charles R. Allen '38; center, Robert S. Jones '37; backs, George F. Roberts '38, Phillip Brooks '39, Vernon H. Struck '38, and Clifford W. Wilson '39.
Team "Y": ends, Donald L. Daughters '39 and Herbert Smith '38; tackles, Alexander Kevorkian, Jr. '38 and Kenneth L. Booth '39; guards, Joseph F. Nee '38 and George T. Klein '33; center, Henry E. Russell '39; backs, George G. Hedblom '37, Thomas H. Bilodeau '37, Robert Stuart '38, and William J. Watt '37.
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