Arthur Valpey estimated Monday afternoon that but five new men, could make positions on the first three varsity teams this fall. Transfer students Al Wilson and Joe Bush are top contenders for the open positions, as are freshmen Fred Ravreby, Tom Ossman, Bobby Ray, and sophomores Carl Bottenfield, Johnny West, and Johnny White.
Ace Passer, But Too Light
All of which brings us to the problem of last fall's freshman quarterback and captain, Carroll Loewenstein. Harvard football has apparently inherent in it a tendency toward the production of small but proficient backs, a thing which has reached its peak of development in Loewenstein.
Anyone who ventured onto the spring practice field was immediately taken with the tremendous passing and kicking skill exhibited by the freshman ace. He is, in this observer's opinion, far and away the best passer of the postwar era in Cambridge. Unfortunately, 19-year-old Carroll Loewenstein only weighs 148 pounds, which is too light for a regular tailback in college football.
When the question was put to Valpey, Art stated that he was definitely impressed with Loewenstein and could probably use him for spot work next fall. Of course, if Cal should report on September 1 weighing, say, 165, it might be an altogether different story.
Other backs who showed promise were Bill Healey, a wingback, and Charley Walsh, the only man the coaches saw fit to groom as a quarterback.
Strong Line Material
Of the new men trying out for line positions, 194-pound tackle Don Kaplan seems to be the outstanding prospect. He is closely followed by Silas Bunce, a temporary guard, and Bob Thompson, another tackle. Bunce, by the way is on pro at the moment.
Two more mentionable tackles are Art Connelly and Charley Hill, but both of these men need experience. Another promising end who needs experience is Alex Sergienko.
Phase Two of Arthur Valpey's after lunch discussion was an evaluation of Ivy League football in 1949. Art, of course, couched his statements with the reservation that they were only personal opinion. This department can only comment on the subject to the effect that if anybody is qualified to speak on Ivy League football, it is Art Valpey.
"Cornell and Army will be tops in the East," stated Valpey, and he gave three reasons for his choice: 1) both teams have large numbers of returning lettermen; 2) their schedules allow for three "breather" games, contests in which the coaches may regroup and experiment; and 3) Cornell has tremendous team speed and Army has depth and considerable speed.
As a matter of fact, Art classified Army, Cornell, and Stanford among the "top 15 teams in the nation," and further commented that if Harvard comes through its first four games (Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, Army) with a 50-50 record, the Crimson will be a definite power in the East.
Valpey then selected six teams which he classified as the "field," and estimated that out of these squads two would rise to national prominence either through good personnel or a tailor-made schedule. The "field" contained Princeton (which needs backs), Dartmouth (lacking a left side of the line). Brown (short on ends and tackles), Penn, Penn State, and BC.
A further category of five teams came under the heading of "dark horses," and these teams depended primarily on a good schedule and the strength of freshmen coming up. These squads are Yale, BU, Holy Cross, Columbia, and . . . Harvard.
"For us, the first four games will be crucial," admitted Art, "and our season record may range from three or four wins, to two or three losses." Harvard does not have the individual stars of some of its opponents, so Valpey counts on experience and organization to be the factors which will bring stadium wins next fall.