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That Varsity football is, not all cheers and large "H's" on woolly sweaters,--at least under the Harlow regime,--has been eloquently proven during the past week in the bi-daily work-outs on Soldiers Field.
With scrimmages featuring in every session, and the words of Coach Harlow "Pick 'em up, Crimson jerseys, back into position fast" ringing after every play, even the most critical observer would have admitted that very few minutes of these strenuous hours were wasted.
Although the skeptic will claim that it proves very little, there can be no doubt that this year's squad has attained a vastly more efficient aspect than at any time during the early weeks last fall. Even bearing in mind the fact that the C team line is undoubtedly far weaker than even the early Crimson opponents, some of the offensive drives staged by the A and B elevens seem to indicate that they pack a potential punch.
Optimism Not Rampant
But optimism is not running rampant in the locker rooms of Dillon Field House. The key-note of the atmosphere down there is rather a grim determination to turn in a better record than might be expected from them on paper. There are many experienced observers, however, who leave the practice field voicing the sentiment that at least one major opponent will leave Harvard Stadium this year with a far worse headache than it had bargained for.
Individual Struggles Keen
But while the long-range struggle of whipping a winning eleven into shape progresses, the individual players cannot help but be far more absorbed in their own fight for a berth in the starting line-up of the Amherst opener next Saturday. And with the possible exception of Captain Jim Gaffney at left tackle, there is not a man on the squad who can safely feel that he has his position cinched.
Due to the ineligibility of ex-Captain Dubiel, there is not a letterman available to Coach Harlow for his line extremities. Gibby Winter and Don Daughters have been playing end on the A team during the past week, but Phil Staples and Ben Smith have been right on their heels all the time.
The right tackle hole is still a problem, with the solution hotly contested by a trio of Al Kevorkian, Mike Adlis and Ken Booth. To Hartman Schmidt has been allotted the thankless task of subbing for Captain Gaffney, a job which he has been ably performing.
Charlie Kessler and Rus Allen look at present as though they will start the Amherst clash as guards, but no one will be surprised if Joe Neo shoves his way into the lineup before next Saturday. The pivot position has developed into a duel between last year's Eli starter, Bob Jones, and Henry Russell, a promising Sophomore. Jim Fearon, another second year man, may also see service this fall.
It is a good deal more difficult to narrow the backfield down to two likely possibilities for each position. It now looks as though Vernon Struck will be the first string bucker, with Bill Watt as an able alternative. Kicking and passing may earn George Roberts a starting place in the backfield, as may the running of Phil Brooks. "Chief" Boston and Clif Wilson, both Sophomores, the latter captaining his Freshman team, are waging one of the closest battles of the squad for honors at blocking back. Although Wilson has generally played with the A eleven, Boston has done some spectacular defensive work and is a strong bidder for the position. Tom Bilodeau must also be reckoned with, although out of the picture for the last few practices due to a slight injury.
Bob Stuart, George Ford, Ralph Pope, Arthur Oakes and Austin Harding will also be heard from before the final line-up has crystalized.
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